Biblical Leadership Traits - Prudent

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8




NIV/ESV translates this term “self-controlled” while the KJV has “sober” in both Timothy and Titus. The NASV translates “sensible” in Titus. The term is sw,frona from the sw,frwn family of words. The term likely comes from the root sa meaning safe or sound plus frhn meaning mind or thought (Lexical Aids, Metzger p88). Therefore the idea of “sensible” does seem to be at the heart of the term. Thus Friberg’s definition is “…strictly having a sound or healthy mind; as having ability to curb desires and impulses so as to produce a measured and orderly life self-controlled, sensible.” In fact, most lexicons cite the notion of moderation or self control as a clear meaning – the thought is that in order to live a sensible life one must be self-disciplined. It is true that self-control begins in the mind! Thoughts and impulses must be managed.

In other words prudent conduct is built upon prudent thinking!

Only two other NT usages of this exact noun:

NAU Titus 2:2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. 6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; Thus, this trait is to characterize both older men and women.

However, there are several other uses of the family of words.

Also, note that the same root word is used in Titus 2:4 (above) as a description of what older women are to do for younger women and is translated “encourage” = swfroni,zw). And in verse 6 (above) what young men are to be – “sensible” an infinitive of swfrone,w

NAU 1 Timothy 2:15 But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

NAU Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, - This adverb shows us how we are to live!

NAU 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. In fact God makes it possible for us to live “sensibly.”

NAU 1 Peter 4:7 ¶ The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

In Luke 8:13; Mark 5:15 the word is used to describe a demoniac who had been “cured” by Jesus. He was now of “sound mind.”

In 1 Cor 5:13, Paul describes himself, perhaps tongue in cheek, as either being beside himself or “of sound mind.”

In Acts 26:25 in his defense before Festus, Paul claims that he speaks “sober truth”

Masters Men: Leadership

Biblical Leadership Traits


1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8



  1. “A person will never be able to develop personal godliness without self control” Do you agree or not and why?
  1. Can you offer suggestions regarding developing self-discipline? Let’s start with obvious areas like diet, exercise, and sleep practices and habits.

Keep written records of your practices in these areas

Be accountable to someone

Take drastic action if necessary (get rid of the TV)

Attach a cost when you blow it

  1. If being self-controlled springs from being sound minded, what is essential to developing a sound mind?
  1. What have you found to be the most difficult obstacle to becoming self-disciplined?

Sustaining good intentions

An entitlement mentality

Being overwhelmed

  1. Identify the most significant area in which you struggle with self control. Ask a person close to you whether or not they agree with your assessment. Then develop a specific plan of action designed to lead you toward self discipline in this area. Ask that same person, to assess your plan.

© Copyright. Joseph Flatt. 2018. All rights reserved. May be used for educational purposes without written permission but with a citation to this source