CORRECTING OTHERS

Correcting Others is like Assaulting Them

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

In truth, such a spirit of correction is likely to be counterproductive. 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 change, than critical feedback.

Demonstrating the Christian life is far more profitable for those we’d like to help, for when we live Christ, grace abounds, and 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.

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the power to live for Christ, and to love others, and to be transformed. 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.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Thursday June 3, 2021 / May 21, 2021
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.
The Meeting of the “Vladimir” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (was established to commemorate the deliverance of Moscow from an invasion of Tatars led by Khan Makhmet-Girei in 1521).
Holy Equals-to-the-Apostles Emperor Constantine (337) and Helen, his mother (327).
St. Constantine (1205) and his children Sts. Michael and Theodore, wonderworkers of Murom.
Uncovering of the relics of Blessed Andrew of Symbiksk (1998).
Venerable Cassian the Greek, monk, of Uglich (1504).
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Kerel.
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Simbir.
Synaxis of Hieromartyrs of Ufa.
Honour list of Icon of the Mother of God “Virgin of Tenderness” from Pskov-Pechersk (1524), Zaonikievsky (1588), Krasnogorsk, or Chernogorsk (1603), Oransk (1634).
Venerable Agapitus, abbot of Markushev (Vologda) (1578).
St. Basil, bishop of Ryazan (1295).
St. Hospicius of Trier (Gaul).
New Martyr Pachomius of Patmos (Mt. Athos) (1730) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Secundus and those with him in Alexandria (356).
St. Cyril, bishop of Rostov (1262).
St. Helen of Dechani, Serbia (1350).

The Scripture Readings

Luke 1:39-49

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, 40 and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

The Song of Mary

46 And Mary said:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.

Luke 1:56

56 And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.

Acts 14:20-27

20 However, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. And the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

Strengthening the Converts

21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” 23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. 24 And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 Now when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work which they had completed.

27 Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

John 9:39-10:9

39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?”

41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Jesus the True Shepherd

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Philippians 2:5-11

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but [b]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Luke 10:38-42

Mary and Martha Worship and Serve

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 11:27-28

Keeping the Word

27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”

28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Acts 26:1-5

Paul’s Early Life

26 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak for yourself.”

So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: 2 “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.

4 “My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know. 5 They knew me from the first, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.

Acts 26:12-20

Paul Recounts His Conversion

12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified[c] by faith in Me.’

Paul’s Post-Conversion Life

19 “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

John 10:1-9

Jesus the True Shepherd

10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

Jesus the Good Shepherd

7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon is Igumen of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

7 comments:

  1. “Only the grace of God can change hearts”
    of course, and evil has its right to exist. When the western church tried inquisition to burn the devil in jews and witches and philosophers, looking to their evil and persecuting them, it only created the repulsion of christianity that now the west lives.

    1. That’s the nefarious black legend spread by protestants who were tenfold more cruel and unjust. The Holy Office of the Inquisition was a religious tribunal with all the guarantees of due process. Execution was a measure of last resort and few were executed along the history of this Holy institution. They were not executed to “burn the devil.” They were executed due to serious, unrepented crimes against religion. The protestant’s in Germany were the ones burning witches, by the way. As any faithful understands, death penalty is a just punishment in some instances.

  2. Have mercy on me O God in your kindness
    In your Compassion blot out my offense
    O wash me more and more from my guilt
    And cleanse me from my sin.
    My offenses truly I know them
    My sin is always before me……
    God bless for this important reminder….

  3. Children and teens I feel have to be corrected and their behaviors pointed out. Some only learn with consequences unfortunately. Like myself.

    1. In no way am I suggesting parents and teachers not be critical and corrective with children and young people. I am grateful for the discipline and correction I received from my parents, grandparents, and teachers, while growing up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *