Friday, October 18, 2013

Helping Others
Correcting Others is like Hitting Them

When focusing on the sins of others, we set for ourselves the mission of correcting them. We see ourselves as called to help this poor, unfortunate one by pointing out their sins, and telling them how they can be a better person. We are not being critical, but helpful, we tell ourselves. "Don't take offense", we say, for "I am only trying to help you see your flaws, so you can become a better person. I am only pointing out your error because I love you, and as a caring person want what is best for you".

In truth, the spirit of judgment is likely to be counterproductive, as our corrections can be like hitting the person, and our critical analysis of their behavior, or personality, or even their sins, can cause more damage than good. If we truly wish to help them, we will offer good and kind thoughts, speak with words of love and encouragement, and pray for them. We are not doing them a favor by serving as their self appointed therapist, passing judgement on their behavior, and correcting them as though we were an official, appointed by the court. Words of encouragement are far more likely to help the person, than negative and critical feedback.

Imaging the love of Christ is far more profitable for those we'd like to help, for when we live Christ, grace abounds. Others see the love we have for them, and are in turn drawn to that which we have. Only Christ can change the heart, lead the sinner to repentance, and bring about healing. We can be the agent of this transformation by allowing Christ's love to shine through us, and by demonstrating His transformational grace by how we live, and how we love, and how we do not judge.

That said, there are certainly times when people need to be corrected for their own good. When these occasions arise, we must make sure the correction is given in the spirit of love, so the delivery does not get in the way of the message. Priests, parents, bosses, and sometimes, even friends, may be called upon to offer such counsel, but the spirit of love must always remain central to the message.

It is the Holy Spirit Who gives us the power to live in Christ, and to love others. Only the grace of God can change hearts, and we must not allow our own critical spirit to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit, in others.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Photo: The road to the monastery.

Friday October 18, 2013 / October 5, 2013

17th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)

Martyr Charitina of Amisus (304).
Sts. Peter (1326), Alexis (1378), Jonah (1461), Macarius (1563), Philip (1569), Hermogenes (Germogen) (1612), Philaret (1867), Innocent (Veniaminov) (1879), and Tikhon (1925), metropolitans of Moscow.
Venarable Gabriel confessor (1959).
Venerable Damian the Healer (1071), and Venerables Jeremiah (1070) and Matthew (1085), clairvoyants of the Kiev Caves.
Venerable Charitina, princess of Lithuania (1281).
Hieromartyr Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria (265).
Martyr Mamelta (Mamelchtha) of Persia (344).
Venerable Gregory (Grigol) the Archimandrite of Chandzoe in Klarjeti, Georgia (861) (Georgia).
Venerable Fathers and Mothers of the Klarjeti Wilderness (9th c.).
Venerable Cosmas, abbot in Bithynia (10th c.).
Uncovering of the relics (1841) of Venerable Eudocimus the Unknown, monk of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (Greek).
Venerable Methodia of Cimola (1908) (Greek).
St. John (Mavropos), metropolitan of Euchaita (1100).
St. Sabbas of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (1350).
St. Varlaam, desert-dweller of Chikoysk (1846).
Uncovering of the relics of New Hieromartyr Bishop Basil of Kineshma (1945).

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

Ephesians 4:17-25

The New Man

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Do Not Grieve the Spirit

25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

Luke 7:31-35

31 And the Lord said, “To what then shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying:

‘We played the flute for you,
    And you did not dance;
We mourned to you,
    And you did not weep.’

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

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1 comment:

  1. A point of clarification: a therapist's job is not to be a critic. Thanks!