Biblcal Leadership Traits - Self Control

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


Titus 1:8



NAU Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,

BGT Titus 1:8 ἀλλὰ φιλόξενον φιλάγαθον σώφρονα δίκαιον ὅσιον ἐγκρατῆ

Note that the KJV is “temperate” while the ESV, NIV are “disciplined”. The term (ἐγκρατής) comes from the preposition “in” (en) and the noun “strength” or “power” (kratoj). The basic meaning of “power in” is more readily rendered to “hold in” because of strength. Therefore we might understand it to be restraint. This is a person who has inward strength – he can master himself and thus be self-disciplined. He has control over himself – dominion. Related concepts might be endurance, steadfast, composure.

For Philo, the term means “superiority to every desire.” It relates to food, sex, tongue. This same idea is prevalent with other extra-biblical writers.

Uses of the term in the NT are:

Acts 24:25, Gal 5:23, 2 Pet 1:6, 1 Cor 7:9, 1 Cor 9:25, Tit 1:8

The negative (undisciplined = akrath) is found at

Matt 23:25, 1 Cor 7:5, 2 Tim 3:3, Rev 14:10. 


  1. It is nice to talk about self-discipline, but just how does one develop this trait?
  1. Address specific situations of life wherein self-discipline is essential.
  1. Are there any implications to the fact that this term is a fruit of the Holy Spirit? How can the Holy Spirit produce self-control in your life?
  1. How do you square the fact that the Holy Spirit must produce self-control (Gal 5:23) with the fact that this quality must be generated to some degree by the individual (2 Pet 1:6)?
  1. Pretend you are interviewing a potential leader. What questions might you ask in order to determined whether he is self-controlled

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