Thursday, August 4, 2011

Words are Powerful

How Criticism Should be Imparted

"Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots." Frank A. Clark, writer (1911-).

When offering someone criticism it is important that we do so with kindness. Studies have shown that to counter one negative comment it takes ten positive comments. When we receive criticism from another, positive wording can make all the difference in how we respond to the correction. Children are especially vulnerable to harsh criticism and should be corrected in a loving, gentle way.

When a husband or wife are sharing their upset about a situation, if the tone of the voice is calm, the spouse can hear the criticism and respond to it, rather than the anger. Conversion rather than conformity and inner transformation rather than external compliance, must be the goal. Showing respect to the person being corrected helps bring about change. Angry words delivered in a harsh tone prevent the receiver from hearing the criticism.

If you want an employee, spouse or child to change their behavior, you must make sure they are understanding the need for such change. Long term change can only come when the receiver of the criticism understands the benefit and is able to receive if for his own betterment. Anger hides the message, for the person hears only the anger.

Whenever we communicate with others we must be grounded in God's love. The message of the Gospels is one of love and forgiveness, and conversion of life is possible not because we are afraid, but because we are forgiven by a loving Saviour.  

The employee who feels respected by his boss will respond to correction because he wants to please his boss by becoming the most productive employee. The child who feels loved wants to please his dad, and be a good little boy. The wife who is told frequently by her husband that he loves her, becomes his partner in the deepest sense, and wants to please him because she loves him.

How we communicate with others makes all the difference in the world. If we allow ourselves to be loving, gentle communicators, we in turn receive the respect and love of those around us. We become happier, they become happier. What a wonderful world it would be if we all learned to communicat respect and love for others.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Hammi the communicator of love.

Friday August 5, 2011 / July 23, 2011
8th Week after Pentecost.
Tone six.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

"Pochaev" (1675) Icon of the Mother of God.
Martyrs Trophimus, Theophilus, and 13 others in Lycia (305).
St. Theodore of Sanaskar (Glorification 2001).
New Hieromartyr Michael priest and Martyr Andrew (1938).
Hieromartyr Apollinaris, bishop of Ravenna (75).
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos "The Joy of All Who Sorrow" (with coins) in St. Petersburg (1888).
Righteous Anna (Hannah), mother of the Prophet Samuel.
Translation of the Relics of St. Herman (Germanus), Archbishop of Kazan.
250 martyrs killed by Bulgarians (802-811) (Greek).
Eight Martyrs of Carthage (Greek).
St. Anna of Leucadia (919) (Greek).
New Hieromartyr Nectarius (Trezvinsky), bishop of Yaransk.
Repose of St. John Cassian the Roman, abbot, of Marseilles (435).

The Scripture Readings for the Day:

1 Corinthians 11:8-22

For man is not from woman, but woman from man.
Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.
For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.
For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?
Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.
But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.
For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.
Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord's Supper.
For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.
What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Matthew 17:10-18 

And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.
But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.
Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.
Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me."
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

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