Friday, February 04, 2005

On Judging your neighbor

"If you want to be a true, zealous son of the Orthodox Church, you must do so by the fulfillment of the commandments of the Gospel toward your neighbor. Do not dare to convict him. Do not dare to teach him. Do not dare to condemn or reproach him. To correct your neighbor in this way is not an act of faith, but of foolish zeal, of prelect and pride.

Abba Poemen the Great was asked, "What is faith?" The great man replied that faith consists in always remaining in humility and showing mercy to one's neighbor, forgiving them all their discourtesies, offenses and sins. Foolish zealots make out that their faith is the prime cause of their zeal, but true faith and true zeal is humility and mercy toward all. Let us leave the work of convicting and judging people on the persons whose shoulders is laid the responsibility to rule and judge their brethren."

Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov

I really think this is important especially these days seeing how much religion can be destructive. If I could live by that I would be a saint… how close can I get? The important thing is how do we approach this in our every day lives. Individually and in relationships we do not judge but that does not mean that we accept behaviours or ideas without judgment especially around our children.

I certainly want to judge the children and the parents of the children that my kids are with, the types of influences they would encounter. These are the responsibility of parents to rule and judge over our children.

It is a line that only by asking and acceding to the will of God do we know how to live….

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