Your heart longs to please the Lord in everything you do, including how you eat. But, you struggle to put your faith into your food choices. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s that you don’t know how. These Bible verses about self-control and food will help you find victory through Christ in how you eat, to the glory of God.
The bag crackles as your fingers scrape across the empty bottom–they’re GONE. Not quite believing that you ate the entire bag, you take a peek only to see a few dusty crumbs lingering on. Frustrated with your lack of self-control, it seems as though you may as well give up.
As a Christian, you know how important self-control is to your walk with the Lord, and yet, it often alludes you (especially when it comes to eating). You want to make a change and get healthy, but your failed attempts have left you feeling hopeless and you don’t know what to do, what to try next.
My sister, I have great news for you. The Word of God contains everything you need to know about life and godliness, including biblical principles for healthy eating and self-control. BUT, just reading scriptures about self-control won’t change your heart. We need to digest them AND apply them through the power of God.
10 Bible Verses About Self-Control and Food
The Bible says that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, meaning that God supplies it to everyone who asks Him. Here you will find 10 Bible verses about self-control and food with helpful tips on how to apply these scriptures to how you eat.
Don’t give up, dive IN!
1. Titus 2:11-12 (ESV) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.
Why do we even want to walk in self-control? After all, it’s not easy to be disciplined! This verse in Titus reminds us that it is the GRACE of God that motivates us to change.
If you’re here, feeling like you “have to” develop more self-control, I’m going to ask you to look at it another way. Don’t try to force disciplined behavior. Rather, seek the grace of God and allow Him to change your heart.
Here are a few verses that will help you see self-control like He does…
2. Proverbs 25:28 (NLT) A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
Living a life without self-control is no life at all. Being able to discipline ourselves brings life, peace, and prosperity. Without self-control, we will end up in ruins.
Meditating on biblical principles for healthy eating and self-control can help convict us so that we can confess our struggles, agree with God, and find the power to overcome!
3. Proverbs 23:20-21 (NLT) Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
Self-control is about so much more than food. Although, I have found in my life that food seems to be the last frontier. While I have exercised discipline in many areas of my life, my eating is one area I must be on guard against.
This Bible verse about self-control reminds me that it’s ok to struggle, but I don’t want to live in the slums.
4. Proverbs 25:16 (NLT) Do you like honey? Don’t eat too much, or it will make you sick!
God has given us the stamp of approval on sweets with one caveat–do not eat too much. He has declared there is no “bad food” (1 Timothy 4:4) but warns us not to eat too much.
5. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 (ESV) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Do you ever feel like you are in short supply of self-control? No matter how deficient you feel, the Word of God tells us that you have enough! When you feel like you just can’t stand up against the temptation any longer, keep your eyes open for a way of escape– He has promised it is there (although you’ll still need to exercise endurance in accepting that escape)! You can overcome the temptation to eat!
6. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Being of a sober mind, walking in self-control, allows us to stay mindful of the schemes of the enemy around us. We have a real adversary who is betting on you to fail.
See your food temptations for what they are– a ploy by Satan to make you ineffective for Christ.
7. 1 Corinthians 9:25 (ESV) Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
The thought of exercising self-control in ALL things can be overwhelming. However, if enough is at stake, we all would step up our game without a second thought.
An athlete has an end result in mind. Their focus on winning the prize and the joy it brings far outweighs any temptation in their lives for compromise.
We need to SEE the end result of walking in self-control with food. How amazing will it feel to know that you have been obedient?
8. 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Fear is pervasive in our lives, whether we are aware or not. Fear tells us that we won’t succeed, that imperfection means unlovable, and that we just won’t make it without comfort food.
But, the Word of God tells us that His power, His love, and His self-control are the antidote to the fears that hold us back.
When you feel stuck, notice where the fear lives and saturate those lies with the love of God. The fear cannot stand.
9. Galatians 5:22-24 (ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
The fruit of the Spirit. Notice this is a singular fruit. If you are struggling with self-control with food, try on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, or gentleness instead.
“How can I walk in love in this temptation?”
“Where can I be joyful in this struggle?”
“What does peace look like here?”
10. 1 Corinthians 9:27 (ESV) But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
There is more at stake than your diet here. God has big plans for you, plans that would rock your world. But, you’ll have to discipline your body to get there. Our bodies are our vehicles through life that allow us to (or keep us from) doing God’s will.
Looking for little ways to discipline your food choices will help you strengthen those self-control muscles so that you won’t be disqualified for service!
How You Can Use These Bible Verses About Self-Control and Food
So, what do you do with all this insight? It’s important to put these verses into practice! We want to move past simply hearing the Word to DOING the Word (James 1:22-25). Here are a few steps to get you started:
- Download the Bible Verses About Self-Control devotional cards below and print them out.
- Cut out the cards and place them around your home. Toss one in your wallet, tape one to the bathroom mirror, and definitely attach one to your fridge and/or kitchen cabinets.
- When temptation hits, grab a card and flee the scene! Remove yourself from the temptation and pray that God will strengthen you. Then crowd out those food thoughts with the verse.
Brandice Lardner is a Certified Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, Homeschool Mom, and Jesus Girl whose mission in life is to help women ditch the diet mentality and find peace with food and their bodies so that they are better equipped to do the great things God has called them to do.
I struggled with this FOR YEARS, to the point I believe I was idolizing my food problems. It was on my mind all the time. I would wake and and pray ‘today Lord, this will be a good day’ only to fail by mid afternoon. Part of it had to do with realizing how much God really does love me, and for me this wasn’t easy.
After a year or two of God me seeking Him and Him showing me many things, I woke up one morning and asked God while praying, ‘why do I do this? I’m so tired of it’. I felt this in my Spirit: Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, I come to give you life more abundantly. (Goes right along with 1 Peter 5) Will you let him do this to you? WILL (as in my free will) I (a choice I make) LET (let Satan have free reign over my thoughts and actions) HIM (Satan) KILL me? Will I let him STEAL (my joy?) Will I let him DESTROY (my health?) From then on, I had my answer. NO WAY.
It seems so simple….but God is dealing with his sheep after all. It doesn’t have to be hard.
So true, Jeanne! It’s hard until we figure out how easy it is 😉
Wow! I love how you put that! Thank you – very helpful xx
I am glad you found this helpful, Amanda! Drop a line anytime and let me know how it’s going 🙂
I WORRY ABOUT MY WEIGHT & EATING DAILY. I AM GLAD I READ THIS. IM GETTING A NEW PERSPECTIVE. DONT HAVE IT YET BUT I’M GETTING A NEW PERSPECTIVE 😃
Glad you’re here, Cal! Yes, it’s a new way of thinking and it takes some time to “sink in”! If you’d like to join my email list, you’ll get some more info that will help you understand the concepts 🙂
Wow! Love this!
So glad you liked it, Jenny!
Linda Francese says
Thank you for this encouragement. Applies to so many parts of life we need to discipline.
Ana Pokino says
Amen! God is amazing when his holy spirit allows you to discern your own condition and with his Grace conquer and overcome. Halleluyah! <3
Wendy Engel says
This was wonderful. Ty! I can relate on many levels.
You’re welcome, Wendy!
Jeanne, I read your comment and then read it 2 more times. You are so right. The devil does come to devour and destroy and he will use all means. I may resist alcohol, drugs, fornication and porn, but I am destroying myself through my abuse of food.
Thank you for sharing such valuable truths.
Thanks Brandice, I found this very helpful. I’m going to print out those verses and meditate on them! Xx
This was very helpful and inspirational! Thank you for sharing.
That makes my day, Andrea! I’m praying for you now…
God can you fight this battle for me…cause I cannot fight this battle anymore…I have been enduring si many things lately that all I want now is to rest upon you…Do it for me cause I have no force now
Lord, please help Nathalie to rest and trust in you!
Stephanie Smith says
I like that Proverbs one, thank you!
You’re welcome, Stephanie!
On number four, I believe you meant verse 16, not 17. I highlight these in my Bible because this has been a great help to me. Thank you for putting it on Pinterest.
Thanks for letting me know, Tabby! Typos are my superpower 🙂 I’m so glad you found it helpful!
Ellie Mathews says
Thank you so much for you article. About 10 years ago I was put on an antidepressant because I was going through a terrible divorce. In a few short years I gained 70 libs. However the medication bdoesnt work as well as it used to and I find I self medicate with food. I binge eat when I am sad or stressed. I really don’t know how to stop it. Any suggestions?
Thanks for sharing, Ellie. I’m so sorry to hear about the depression, I know how hard it is to manage mental health issues. I love Dr. Caroline Leaf and think her information could really help you: https://youtu.be/gEA6xnlJdw8
This is good information. I am struggling with this right now. I sometimes feel like I’m losing my mind because I can’t change my relationship with food from it being my only comfort to just nourishing my body. God is great and I need to turn to him for comfort and not food.
Hi Sharon! Oh boy, do I get that… it feels like a massive chasm that we can’t cross on our own. And, we can’t. God knows this and He’s only asking you to take it one day at a time WITH HIM. Try to keep your eyes off yourself (because we’ll always be disappointed then) and keep turning to Him. I think food is emotional, comforting, and a celebration and He made it that way. It’s been it becomes an idol (something we place before Him), that it becomes a problem. See if you can turn to God instead of food just one time today 🙂
Laverne Crockett says
I am 58 years old and have struggled with this for years. I thought it was from early childhood, but the Holy Spirit showed me weeks ago, it wasn’t. I believe the overeating came from the fact that I had no one ‘controlling’ me. an abusive controlling father, a first marriage that had ended badly, then I had to live on my own, and I believe that’s where it really had gotten bad. don’t get me wrong, I was a bit chunky when I was young, because I was not active, not because of eating. So anyway, this eating took over as a comfort, because I was separated/divorced, deaths in my family, and had no one , in a sense seeing what I was doing. I believe as well, that Satan took this and as stated from another persons comments, was seeking to destroy me. I am done with this! I am at an unhealthy weight, for my height, I don’t want any medical issues. Jesus take the wheel in my eating! God Bless, and keep fighting and sharing Sisters!
Hi Laverne! It sounds like God has revealed so much to you and that you’re allowing Him to use your hurtful past (and your future progress) for HIS glory <--that's amazing!
Christina Phillips says
Wow! Laverne, I am right where you are! Thank you for your inspiration as well as this Pin…you both have been so helpful!! Here’s to a new life! A healthy one!!
Sharon Smith says
I need this so badly. I use food for many reasons. Happy, sad lonely, bored you name it food is my safe place but I know this doesn’t please God. Thank you for helping.
You’re certainly not alone, Sharon! Praying for you now!
This is great Brandice, thanks. I didn’t see the devotional cards/verses for self-control that were mentioned. I saw the binge proof action planner, but not the cards. Can you help? Thanks.
Thanks for letting me know, Pam! I’ve updated the form and will send it to you now 🙂
Thanks very much for these scriptures we were doing a conference line for healthy eating and our friend Yolanda wanted us to do ten days healthy treats no sweets but my aunty Ann wanted us to be sure to include scriptures and finding this blog Brandice was very very helpful we truly enjoyed the scriptures and had to let you know we appreciate them, you did an awesome job! God bless you and your family .
So glad you found it helpful, Paula! I love how you’re bringing the Lord into this.