In what ways should we be temperate (self-controlled) with respect to the gifts of this life? John Brown mentions 6 occasions for temperance. He says,
- He is temperate in his desires of earthly enjoyments as such. Because they are “earthly,” he does not set his affections on them.
- Therefore, he is temperate in his pursuit of them; he does not labor so much for the meat that perishes, as for that which endures unto eternal life.” They do not control his time, do not rob him of time better devoted to necessary things.
- He is temperate in his attachment to them, while he enjoys them; he does not say, “Soul, take thine ease; eat, drink, and be merry; thou halt goods laid up for many years.”
- He is temperate in his regrets when he is deprived of them ; he does not feel as if he had lost his all, or say, “My gods are taken from me, and what have I more?”
- He does not allow his natural desire of such things to interfere with his convictions and his obligations. He keeps the body, and all the desires connected with things seen and temporal, in subjection.
- The world has not dominion over him: he is master of himself; and, being possessed of a far better inheritance than it can give him, he does not expect or seek on earth real, perfect happiness, which he believes to be in heaven and secured for him there.