Saturday, October 5, 2013

Holding up  Standards of Behavior

We have all witnessed those embarrassing moments when someone has lost their temper. The boss who comes into the office with family worries, and shouts at his secretary, often over something very insignificant. We've sat uncomfortably as a hostess made a nasty remark to her husband, in front of we dinner guests. We've suffered the unpleasantness of seeing parents correct their children in a demeaning way, in front of their little friends. Yet, if we be honest with ourselves, we have likely embarrassed others with our own outbursts of anger, retreating a short time later, with regret.

We may be justified in seeing the need for correcting an employee, or a child, regarding their behavior, but how much easier our message could be heard, if it were delivered in a soft voice, and without anger. An angry voice immediately puts the other person in a defensive mode, and they are hardly able to hear what could be valuable correction.

We all have had opportunities to improve ourselves when we've received correction about sloppy work performance, or when we've learned from a spouse the need for doing our share around the house. As an abbot, I would be failing in my fatherly duties, if I never corrected the behavior, or the laziness, of one of the monks under monastic obedience, yet it is in the tone of the delivery that true progress can be made, and where the correction is received with the knowledge the monk is loved by his abbot.

Sometimes we may find ourselves stuck in old habits, and sharing our displeasure with an employee, or a family member, or a friend, without an angry tone to our voice, takes great effort on our part. We don't hear how we sound to the other person, so when we hear them respond with the words, "you don't have to shout", our response, "I'm not shouting", is even louder.

There is not one of us who has any excuse for using a gruff voice when speaking to another, yet old habits are hard to overcome. The boss who finally becomes aware of how he sounds to his employees, should begin changing his behavior by calling all his office personnel together, and offering an apology. This boss should not see this apology as undermining his authority, or as an open invitation to his employees for bad job performance. In truth, the opposite will take place. His employees will feel respected by their boss, and will find they want to please him, and go the extra mile to make the company the very best in the business.

By letting those under our authority, be they our children, or our employees, receive correction in a quiet, respectful tone, we enable them know they are loved and respected by us, and our expectation of excellence on their part, is based on our respect for them. We demonstrate excellence by making sure we keep those standards of performance, ourselves. We will be amazed at their response, and will, in turn, find we are able to keep our cool during those moments when they disappoint us.

All this wonderful change begins with a simply apology on our part, for if we truly desire others to carry their weight, or do their part in making the household, or office run smoothly, we will recognize the absolute necessity that we humble ourselves, and ask forgiveness when we have been angry, or when the tone of our voice has submerged our words, obscuring our intended correction, and hurting those around us.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Saturday October 5, 2013 / September 22, 2013

15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Prophet Jonah (9th c. B.C.).
Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope (117).
Venerable Jonah the Presbyter (9th c.), father of St. Theophanes the Hymnographer and St. Theodore Graptus.
Blessed Parasceve od Diveevo (1915).
New Martyr Benjamin bishop of Romanovsk (1930).
Venerable Jonah, abbot of Yash Lake (1589).
Venerable Macarius, abbot of Zhabyn (1623).
Synaxis of All Saints of Tula.
Martyr Phocas the Gardener of Sinope (320).
St. Peter the Tax-collector of Constantinople (6th c.).
Hieromartyr Theodosius of Brazsk (1694) (Romania).
The 26 Martyrs of Zographou Monastery, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (1284) (Greek).
Martyrs Isaac and Martin.
Venerable Theophanes the Silent, recluse of the Kiev Caves.
Venerable Cosmas, desert-dweller of Zographou, Mt. Athos (1323) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Emmeram, bishop in Gaul, martyred at Regensburg (690) (Bavaria)..
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos "She Who is Quick to Hear" (14th C).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.

With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

1 Corinthians 4:17-5:5

17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

Immorality Defiles the Church

5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 4:31-36

Jesus Casts Out an Unclean Spirit

31 Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths. 32 And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. 33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”
35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him. 36 Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

No comments:

Post a Comment