By Abbot Tryphon
“We must avoid hypocrisy on our journey to God” Avoiding Hypocrisy And Our Lenten Journey | The Morning Offering.
It is very easy to live our lives in hypocrisy if we are not mindful of the pitfalls of the spiritual life. We can become Pharisees without even noticing, if we let our Christianity be artificially lived. Living our lives as though we have been rehearsed by a stage director, we will have accomplished nothing, and will remain no more than an actor. Putting on the mask of Christianity, is not living in Christ.
An honest, daily examination of our conscience, together with regular guidance by our confessor, is the only way we can live a Christian life that will lead to transformation of the heart.
Avoiding Hypocrisy | The Spiritual Death
If we simply put on a show of being a Christian, without any true repentance, we will remain mired in false religiosity, and our heart will grow dark. Christ must be invited into the heart on a daily basis, through prayer, and honest examination of our conscience, without which there can be no spiritual growth. We can not play at being a Christian, for to do so will lead to spiritual death.
“If our life does not give witness to Christ in us, and if our attention is given over to self promotion, or a desire to please others, but avoids honest examination of our sins, we will be like fruit that dies on the vine.” Avoiding Hypocrisy And Our Lenten Journey | The Morning Offering.
We must “put on Christ’, daily, and make sure our public expression of our faith is not being acted out for others, but is ever entering into a deeper relationship with this very Christ. Playing at spirituality only leads to spiritual death. If our life does not give witness to Christ in us, and if our attention is given over to self promotion, or a desire to please others, but avoids honest examination of our sins, we will be like fruit that dies on the vine.
Avoiding Hypocrisy | The Byzantine Court
The Byzantine Court was filled with sycophants, busying themselves with building alliances that would help them rise in status and influence. During the thousand years of the empire, a few emperors were tricked into believing these sycophants were truly their friends, and could be trusted, when in actuality they were being played, and these flatterers were not their friends.
“Our transformation through the Lenten Journey” Avoiding Hypocrisy And Our Lenten Journey | The Morning Offering.
These sycophants were quick to change allegiances should a better opportunity arise, and many an emperor was, in the end, betrayed by those whom they’d thought could be trusted.
These flatterers lacked courage, and in their dishonesty faked loyalty to the Emperor, and in the end, the whole of the Empire would suffer. Had these people been true citizens of the Empire, and not focused on their own advancement, the Emperor would have enjoyed the loyalty of a citizen who put the Empire before self. In the end, the Emperor would be betrayed, and the Empire would have suffered yet another round of intrigue.
Avoiding Hypocrisy | The Spiritual Growth
As we continue on this Lenten journey, let us reexamine our own relationships. Are we sycophants, or do we speak from the heart, without thought for self promotion? Are we true friends to those with whom we share our lives, or are we always thinking only of ourselves?
Do we really desire to serve those who are over us, or do we think only of our own advancement? Do we really desire to grow in the Faith, or are we only focused on the here and now? Are we like the emperor, only surrounding ourselves with flatterers, and people who tell us what we want to hear, or are we ready to receive the feedback that would actually help us grow spiritually?
“With God’s help, this Lenten journey will be the most spiritually profitable of them all.” Avoiding Hypocrisy And Our Lenten Journey | The Morning Offering.
Avoiding Hypocrisy | The Lenten Journey
Let us in all humility beseech the Lord during this Great and Holy Fast, seeking the transformation that is ours through His grace. Let us offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, expecting, because of His loving kindness, to be made whole. Finally, let us not be flatters and betrayers of others, but true friends, always putting ourselves last. Let us love God above all else, and let us love others as ourselves. With God’s help, this Lenten journey will be the most spiritually profitable of them all.
With love in Christ,
About The Brotherhood of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible.
We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery’s mailing address:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
P.O. Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
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By: Abbot Tryphon | The All-Merciful Saviour Orthodox Monastery on Vashon Island. Washington, United States
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