Monday, November 25, 2013

Look for the good

These are sayings of a Serbian bishop which resonate in my heart, as they reflect the truths by which I have tried to live my life in Christ. They define for me what true Orthodoxy essentially is, not a doctrinal formulation or a rudder full of rubrics, but living in such a way that reveals Christ in you to others, and Christ in others to you.

Stop looking for that which is bad in your neighbors but rather find and love that which is good in them and you will save both them and yourselves.

You will save them since every man already believes in his own goodness, everyone likes and wants to be good, everyone feels that eternal and divine calling to perfection. One should, therefore, support others in this: believe in them and help them develop that which is good, which abides in them and which they ultimately respect in themselves, that they develop that inner goodness, that it be strengthened and that it bring them victory over evil… For, it is only that which is good in man that can be loved and it is only in love that one can live.

It is with this teaching that the Apostles set out into the world on this day [Pentecost].

—Bishop Hrizostom (Vojinović)

To read the whole from which these excerpts are taken, visit Fr Milovan's blog Again and Again, and read the post entitled Good in Every Man.

For those unfamiliar with Orthodox language, when we say ‘you will save them’ this does not mean that we personally save them—as a matter of fact we know that only Christ can save anyone—but that we only do what we see Him doing: We try to love others as He does, and so doing, we help them to lay down their defenses, so He can save them.

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