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Fruit of the Spirit

peach Self-Control - Temperancepeach
Don't Cave in to Temptation

by Sophia Prinsloo

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian


The fruit of the spirit is self-control “Lisa, didn't I tell you that you may only eat sweets after lunch?”

“Jacques, stop pestering the dog!”

“Annie, put your phone away and do your homework!”

“Martin! John! Stop bickering this instant!”

Does that sound familiar to you? Let us hear what the Bible says about self-control:

fruit divider


During the time when David was fleeing from Saul, who wanted to kill him, many men joined David. He became their leader and they listened to him, because the Lord was with him.

Many men joined David and he became their leader They could not stay in one place for too long, because there was always someone snitching on them to Saul. That is why they constantly moved around. Once, when Saul had to go fight the Philistines, David and the men went to stay at Engedi. It was in the mountainous part of the arid desert. David and his men got their water from a fountain in the valley where the deer always came for a drink. There was also a cave where they could shelter from the wind, which sometimes blew so hard their eyes and clothes became full of dust and sand.

One day they were hiding in the cave again to rest for a while. David was playing his lyre, singing, “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee….” Suddenly, the guards at the entrance of the cave came running inside. “Quick, hide! King Saul is on his way.”


“Just King Saul alone?” asked David as he quickly put away his lyre.


King Saul is on his way “Yes, but there are about three thousand soldiers down by the fountain,” the guards replied.

They were just in time to hide behind the rocks when Saul entered the cave. “Is there somebody inside here?” Saul yelled.

Everybody was quite still. Nobody moved. From the dark shadows in the cave, David and the men carefully watched every move Saul made. They were not planning to get caught in the cave and were ready to leave quickly if Saul's soldiers came closer.


Completely unaware of the danger hiding in the cave, Saul took off his helmet and breastplate and put them on a nearby rock. Then he dusted his clothes, took a sip of water from his waterbag and squatted.

Lifting up his knife David cut off the skirt of Saul\'s robe “Psst! David!” Abishai whispered. “Today is the day in which the Lord has delivered Saul into your hands. Now is your chance to kill Saul and then you will become the king of Israel.”

Quietly David got up with a firm grip on his razor-edged sword. He stalked Saul noiselessly across the sand in the cave while the wind rustled softly through the entrance. Saul, with his back towards David, suspected nothing.


When David reached Saul to kill him, lifting up his sword, his conscience started bothering him: “David, do you want to murder the anointed of the Lord out of vengeance and then become king yourself? Do you want to kill the father of your best friend, Jonathan, whom you love so much? How will you ever be able to explain that to God or Jonathan? The Word of God says you may not commit murder, but vengeance is His.”


Immediately David changed his mind and only cut off the skirt of Saul's robe, grabbed it and quickly vanished into the shadows of the cave again where his men were hiding. He told them, “My conscience is bothering me seriously now. May the Lord keep me from ever killing the king, because the Lord has appointed him and he is God's anointed.”

“Oh no, David! If you don't want to do it, we will!” said Joab and a whole lot of other men. “He has tried to kill you how many times? He gave your wife to someone else and he has been hunting us down like wild animals for months now!”

“No, definitely not!” David forbade them earnestly. “King Saul did me wrong and I am not happy about that, but he still is the anointed of the Lord! That is why you may not come against him either. We must be patient and have temperance; the Lord says the vengeance is His and He Himself will repay him for his deeds. God will fight for us and, according to His promise, I shall become king at the appointed time! The Lord's way is always best.”

Here in my hand is a piece of your robe Saul got up, put on his breastplate and his helmet and made his way out of the cave. Suddenly, David jumped up and ran after Saul, calling, “My lord, the king!”

Alarmed, Saul stopped dead in his tracks. When he turned around, David bowed down with his face to the earth, fell down upon his knees and said, “Why do you listen to the people who say I want to kill you? You yourself saw that today God delivered you into my hands. All my men told me to kill you, but I spared your life, because you are the anointed of the Lord.”

David held up the piece of cloth. “Look! Here in my hand is a piece of your robe. When I cut it off, I did not kill you. Isn't that enough proof that I do not want to harm you in any way? The Lord may kill you because of what you have done to me, but I shall never kill you. The Lord will decide who is right, me or you, and He will punish the one who is in the wrong!”

Saul replied, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he started to cry, “You are a better man than I, because you have done good to me when I wanted to do evil to you. May the Lord reward you because you have spared my life.”

Between the tears, Saul sobbed, “Now I know that you will become king after me. Promise me that, when you are king, you will spare my family and descendants.”

After David solemnly promised him, Saul went home. David kept his promise, but Saul's remorse over trying to kill David did not last long. Shortly afterwards, he was out to try and kill David again.

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Stop and think when you are tempted to do wrong. It is not always easy, but in the long run, the Lord's way is always best.


1. What did God promise to David?
2. Did David have to wait before he could become king?
3. What helped David not to kill King Saul?
4. What helped David to use temperance?
5. Was Saul a good king?
6. Did David became a good king?
7. Like whom would you like to be, Saul or David?


Children who have learned self-control from an early age usually become successful adults.



“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).



“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind”
(2 Timothy 1:7).

“He that is slow to anger is better than the
mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that
taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

“Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded”
(Titus 2:7).

“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye
therefore sober, and watch unto prayer”
(1 Peter 4:7).

“For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and
for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut
thee not off” (Isaiah 48:9)


What would you do if you were playing with your friends and one of them made you angry, slapping your face, biting or kicking you? Would you slap, bite or a kick them back? Is that the way you should behave? What would Jesus have you do?

I want you to think of some things you like to do that aren’t always good for you. For example, you may like filling yourself up with snacks and sweets instead of eating your meal at the table, or sitting around all day watching movies, playing video games or playing with your phone instead of going outdoors to get sunshine and exercise. What would help you do the right thing? Would thinking about what Jesus would do help you decide?

Now think of things you know you should do but don’t always feel like doing, things like homework, making your bed or brushing your teeth. Why is it good to do those things?

How about reading your Bible and praying? Do you think it takes self-control to pray and read the Bible every day? Can you think of a time Jesus used self-control when He was here on Earth?

[After discussion:] In today’s story, David had a choice to either give in to temptation and kill Saul or do what God commanded and let him live. He showed great self-control and God rewarded him by making him King over Israel after Saul died.

When you’re tempted to lose self-control, there are many things you can do. Next time that happens, try walking away or think of a Bible verse before you do anything and, if you don’t know a Bible verse, count to ten. Most importantly, silently call on Jesus for help and trust Him to help you do the right thing.

It’s always harder to win back a friend than stupidly do something to lose one. Have you become so angry you lost your temper with someone? Do you need to ask someone to forgive you? Do it today so God can bring healing in both your lives. God shows lots of self-control toward us and we should do the same toward others.


Dog and boy praying

Heavenly Father, help us to use self-control
and to always think about the consequences
of what we do. Teach us to wait patiently
to receive rewards. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


1 Samuel 24:1-23
Galatians 5:19-26



The Fruit of the Spirit

fruit divider


David Kept on the Move (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit Is Self-Control (online)
Coloring: Self-Controlled (online)
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (online)
David Doesn't Hurt Saul coloring page (online)
David Spares King Saul coloring page (online)


Fruit of the Spirit Coloring Page (online)
Fruit of the Spirit by Name Coloring Page (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Fruit Basket (online)
God Wants Us to Bear Good Fruit (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Tree (online)
Fruit Bowl (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Reproducible Coloring Book

Action Bible Coloring Book
Coloring Through the Bible (online)
Beginner's Bible Super-Duper Mighty Jumbo Coloring Book
Bible Stories Kids Love Coloring Book (ages 2 to 4)
Big Book of Bible Story Coloring Pages for Elementary Kids

God Loves You Coloring Book:
A Read-aloud Coloring Book About God's Plan for Salvation

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, Coloring Book
My Bible Coloring Book
My Gospel Story by Colors--Activity Book
My Jumbo Bible Story Coloring Book
The Super-Sized Book of Bible Coloring & Art
The Super-Sized Book of Bible Verse Coloring Pages
Children's Bible Coloring Books


David Finds Saul Asleep (read online)
David in Hiding (read online)
Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is greater than Saul, David and Solomon
The Coming Storm - eBook


Adventures of Heart Longing:
An Allegory of the Fruit of the Spirit

Cutie Fruities: Scratch'n'Sniff and Glitter!
Fruit of the Spirit
Fruit of the Spirit Bible Collection eBook
Fruit of the Spirit Arch Book
Fruit of the Spirit Stories For Children (online)
God Counts Series: 9 Fruits Alive
Life Is an Adventure with Ernie

Living As God's Girl: Your One-of-a-Kind
Guide to the Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit (online)

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365 Activities For Kids:
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The Children's Illustrated Bible
The Picture Bible (also in Spanish)
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David on the Run Jigsaw Puzzle (online)
David Finds His Way Out maze (online)
Fill in the Blanks (KJV) (online)
David and Saul activity sheet (online)
David and Saul games (online)
David Shows Mercy to King Saul activities (online)
David Spares Saul's Life activities (online)
David Spares Saul's Life (Twice) activities (online)
Kids Of Integrity - Self-Control activities (online)


Jigsaw Puzzle (online)
Story Cards To Keep and Share (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit activities (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Game (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Bingo Game (online)
Fruit Puzzle (online)
Fruits of the Spirit Dominoes
Online Word Search (online)
Word Search (online)
Memory Match (online)
Faith That Sticks: Fruit Of The Spirit Stickers
Teacher Created: Fruit Of The Spirit Stickers
The Fruit of the Spirit Spinning Top Game & Puzzle Sheet

Best Book of Bible Activities
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Bingo (online)
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Encyclopedia Of Bible Games For Children's Ministry
Jumbo Bible Activity Book 4
Memory Verse Games for Kids
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Music Machine: The Fruit Of The Spirit CD—Self-Control
The Watchkins: Self-Control


Fruit of the Spirit (sheet music/MP3) (online)
I Want To Be Like Jesus (sheet music/MP3) (online)
Donut Man: Fruit Of The Spirit
DouglasTalks: Blessed Are the Meek (online)
Fruit of the Spirit (online)
Fruit Of The Spirit [Children of Faith Split Trax Music Download]
Hide 'Em In Your Heart 1 & 2 CD (Steve Green)
Integrity Kids: Fruit of the Spirit [Music Download]
Fruit of the Spirit by Maranatha Kids (online)
Fruit of the Spirit [Brentwood Music Download]
Fruit of the Spirit Cadence (online)
Music Machine: The Fruit Of The Spirit CD
Spencer Family: The Fruit of the Spirit (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit — Donut Man (listen online)
The Fruit of The Spirit Song/MP3/CHORDS (online)

The Fruit Of The Spirit - Galatians 5:22 & 25
[Steve Green Music Download]

The Fruit of the Spirit Song (online)

100 Ways To Know God Loves Me & 100 Songs
100 Bible Stories 100 Bible Songs
Action Bible Songs
Bible Songs on CD
Bible Songs on DVD
150 All-Time Favorite Veggietunes
100 Singalong Bible Songs For Kids

Platinum Bible Collection of Classic Christian Songs on DVD
The Bible in a Minute (online)

25 Favorite Sunday School Songs
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CDs and DVDs

Adventures in Odyssey 541: Bernard & Saul [Download]

Bible on the Go Vol. 16: David and Goliath; David and Jonathan;
David and Saul (1 Samuel 17-18, 20, 24, 31 ) - Unabridged Audiobook [Download]

Character Builders: Self-Control (online)
God's Story: David and Saul (online)
Saul's Pursuit of David (online)
Superbook: David and Saul (watch online)

Fruit of the Spirit Animation (online)
Auto B Good Fruits of the Spirit DVD
By Their Fruit (watch online)
Camp New: Humble Pie, DVD
Character Builders, 2 Disc Set (Repackaged)
Donut Man: After School & The Repair Shop, DVD
Donut Man: Barnyard Fun & On The Air, DVD
Fruit of the Spirit Animation (online)
Hide 'Em In Your Heart 1 & 2 CD (Steve Green)
Music Machine: The Fruit Of The Spirit CD
Music Machine (watch online)

All the Shows, Volume 1: 1993-1999
Do You Wonder Why? (online)
God's Story from Creation to Eternity (online)
Read and Share DVD Bible
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit
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Fruit of the Spirit Bible Crafts: Self-Control/Temperance (online)
David and Saul crafts (online)


Fruit Printing (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Crafts (online)
Basket Craft (online)

Bible Crafts
Bible Crafts & More (Ages 3-6)
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Crafting the Word of God (online)

Easy-to-Make Bible Crafts PDF for Kids
& Digital Album Download [PDF Download]

Encyclopedia Of Bible Crafts For Preschoolers
Hot Crafts for Cool Kids pdf download
Maker-ific WOWS! (ages 8-12): 54 Surprising Bible Crafts

More! Bible Crafts on a Shoe String Budget:
Paper Sacks & Cardboard Tubes

(Reproducible: Ages 5-10)

Puppet Crafts For Kids (online)


Bible Study on Self-Control (online)
Free Bible images for this story (online)
Choosing Self-Control Curriculum
Hero Training! Character Challenge for Kids: Self-Control (online)
Kids Of Integrity - Self-Control (online)
Self-Control Lapbook
The Fruit of the Holy Spirit — What is self-control? (online)
David Shows Mercy to King Saul curriculum & activities (online)


Story Ideas

Important Notes About This Lesson
and Answers to THINK Questions

All-in-One Bible Fun: Fruit of the Spirit (Preschool edition)
All-in-One Bible Fun: Fruit of the Spirit (Elementary edition)
Faith Case Fruit of the Spirit
The Fruit of the Spirit Bible story and activities (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit (printable)
Free Bible images for Fruit of the Spirit (online)
Fruit Basket Upset-Fruit of the Spirit Game (online)
Experience the Fruit of the Spirit (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Bulletin Board Set (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Characters (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Classroom Chart (online)
Fruits of the Spirit and How We Can Show Them to Others (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Fruit Bowl (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Object Lesson (online)
Fruit of the Spirit (online)
The Fruit of the Spirit Lesson Plan (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Anagrams (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Name Tags (online)
Fruit of the Spirit (online)
Puppet/Skits Scripts (online)
Apple Snacks (online)
Chocolate Covered Strawberries (online)
Fruit Kabobs (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Pizza (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Game (online)
Please Pass The Fruit (Game) (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Necklace (Memory Tool) (online)
Fruit of the Spirit Bookmarks
Fruit of the Spirit Bulletin
The Fruit Of The Spirit, Laminated Wall Chart
How to Simply Inspire Character (online)

Free Bible story images (online)
801 Questions Kids Ask About God
Absentee Postcards
African American Resources
Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher
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Children's Ministry Volunteers That Stick
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God's Servants Teach Me

God's Wisdom for Little Boys:
Character-Building Fun from Proverbs

Help! I'm a Sunday School Teacher
How To Lead a Child To Christ
How to Make Bible Characters from Milk Cartons (online)
King James Version Gift & Award Bibles

Leading Little Ones to God:
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Lord Teach Me To Pray For Kids
Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours
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Opening Prayer (online)
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Seven Laws of the Learner
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Talking to God
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Teaching Children Memory Verses Ages 4-5
Teaching Children To Pray Ages 4-5
Teaching to Change Lives
The Beginner's Bible Curriculum Kit
The Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit

The Humongous Book of Bible Skits
for Children's Ministry

Vacation Bible School
What Every Sunday School Teacher Should Know

Children's resources (online)

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