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Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

5- Self power

 

A powerful person does not feel anxious or disturbed, nor does he experience fear, failure or hesitation.

His spirit is like the cataracts in the river, struck by waters and waves for years and centuries and remain fixed in their place, or like the mountains hit by winds, rains and floods without being affected.

St-Takla.org Image: River, a photo from St-Takla.org's visit to Ethiopia in 2008 صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نهر، صوره من رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت إلى إثيوبيا عام 2008

St-Takla.org Image: River, a photo from St-Takla.org's visit to Ethiopia in 2008 - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, April-June 2008

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: نهر، صوره من رحلة موقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت إلى إثيوبيا عام 2008 - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا، إبريل - يونيو 2008

Thus a person who is powerful in spirit says with David the Prophet: "Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident" (Ps. 27:3).

A powerful person is steady and holds out against hardships and threats, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. He is powerful despite the external pressures.

On the other hand, the weak imagines fears and is disturbed because of this.

Such fears may probably have no existence! But due to inner fear, he expects troubles and becomes worried without reason!!

A powerful person does not set the possibility of failure or defeat in front of him; for St. Paul the Apostle said, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power" (2 Tim. 1:7), "Therefore we do not lose heart" (2 Cor.

4:16). Any fighting, troubles or hardships will not enter the heart and disturb it.

A powerful person deals with the troubles outside him, while a weak person allows them into his heart and nerves and is troubled by them.

This is the power of the spirit which the distinguished are characterized.

In an examination, the weak feel perplexed, sweats and faints when he finds a difficult question and forgets whatever he has learned!! But a powerful student thinks of the solution, by analyzing the question, and gains confidence to solve the problem.

In fact, the real concept of power ought to concentrate on internal power.

Some people may seem powerful from the outside while they are completely lost inside. Such a person may say, if insulted, "God forgive you", but within he is full of rage and hatred. The commandment of turning the other cheek (Matt. 5:39) is said by one of the saints to be the inner feelings, that is interior forbearance, forgiveness and blaming of oneself.

Interior power is also overcoming one's own self. The powerful is not he who overcomes others, but rather who he overcomes himself.

One of the saints said: Man is given the power of anger, not to use it against others and be angry with them but to use it against himself if he does wrong. It is well said in the Psalm, "The royal daughter is all glorious within" (Ps. 45:13). So, if you overcome your inner self, you can overcome any external matters, and you will be able to overcome all enemies. St. John Chrysostom says, 'No one can do harm to a person unless such a person does harm to himself.'

Among the Characteristics of power is self-control.

He who controls his tongue is a powerful person as said by St. James the Apostle (James 3:2). A great point of weakness, which we pay highly for, is the tongue which accuses.

A powerful person can control his thoughts so that they may not overcome him or cause him to stray and thus sin.

A powerful person controls himself at the time of anger and at the time of fasting with respect to food and drink, and controls himself with regard to time; he does not waste his time in enjoyment and entertainment and hence fails to carry out his spiritual responsibilities.


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