Self-control includes the whole life...
The spiritual man controls himself concerning the love of comfort and pleasure, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. He controls himself concerning time, distributing it well among different responsibilities and also respects appointments... He controls himself concerning revenging for himself if he was insulted or offended. He controls himself concerning financial matters and concerning taking and giving. He controls himself with regard to his relationship with others and to what extent it should be... He controls his heart’s emotions and feelings so they would not deviate to the right or to the left... Even with regard to the worship, the service, supervising others and in all his responsibilities, he puts controls for himself.
Finally, I would like to say an important remark which is:
The one who does not control himself may get the needed control from outside.
If he is not controlled within, the control would come to him in spite of his will: from the society that watches his behaviour and holds him responsible; from the eyes of people that see and their ears that hear... He would be controlled by fear or shame or controlled by laws and punishments by a higher authority. Or he would be controlled by the spiritual guides or an outside resistance that would stop him within his limits and prohibits him from behaving wrongly... It is amazing how the Prophet David failed to control himself and to stop himself from taking revenge. But control came to him from outside when Abigail rebuked him in wisdom and good manners (1Sam 25).
It is better for one to control himself spiritually and receive a divine reward for that, than to be controlled by an outside force, or to be controlled against his own will...
As for the spiritual man, he controls himself from within. And if he found resistance, he turns to compulsion and to spiritual exercises, always aiming at purity of the heart and holiness of the action...
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