Self Control in the Midst of Conflict

Self control is one of the most important, but least addressed disciplines in the Christian life. It is hard to admit that we are completely responsible for our own actions. In fact, we make all kinds of excuses for why we are not actually in control of ourselves. However, the only thing that a person is actually accountable for is himself. God will hold you responsible for how you controlled yourself.  The good news is that through Christ we have forgiveness for our rebellious lack of self-control and through his Holy Spirit he equips us to exhibit self-control (cf. Gal 5:23).  In the midst of conflict there are two specific areas that we must guard carefully and work to exhibit self-control, our speech and our criticism.


  1. Self-Control of Speech
    1. The importance of controlling speech: James 3:1-12
    2. The strategy for controlling speech
      1. Use your ears more than your mouth. (James 1:19)
      2. Use your words to love not to win. (Eph 4:15)
      3. Use gracious words not cutting words. (Prov 12:18)
      4. Use words that are accurate not usefully exaggerated. (Prov 12:22)
      5. Use direct speech not gossip. (Prov 26:20)
  2. Self-Control of Criticism
    1. The importance of controlling criticism: James 4:11-12
    2. The strategy for controlling criticism
      1. Be humble not judgmental. (Mat 7:1-5)
      2. Be prayerful for change not manipulative for change. (James 1:5)
      3. Be ready to cover with love rather than smother with criticism. (1 Pt 4:8)
      4. Be kind not combative. (Col 3:12)
      5. Be graciously biblical not dogmatically preferential. (Rom 14)
      6. Be encouraging not demeaning. (Rom 15:1-2)
      7. Be open  criticism not ready to mount a defense. (Prov 9:8-9)