Dec 19, 2010

The True Self Revealed

God “giveth grace unto the humble” (Ja. 4:6), which corrects and renews a man. So the man who knows himself begins to correct himself and gets progressively better. Know yourself, then, and you shall correct yourself.

Temptations and trials show what hides in the heart of a man. Temptation is similar to the medicine called an emetic. An emetic reveals what is hidden in the stomach. So temptations and trials make manifest what is inside a man. The holy word of God and other Christian books point out the corruption of our nature, but we recognize it by actual experience or deed in temptations and trials.

Thus vainglory becomes apparent through the deprivation of glory, avarice through the deprivation of riches, envy through the success of one’s neighbor, and anger through disappointment. If, then, you fall into various temptations, O Christian, this all happens by God’s permission for your great benefit, that you may thereby know what is hidden in your heart, and so knowing it you may correct yourself. Many flatter themselves and consider themselves to be good, humble, and meek, but they will discover the contrary under temptation. Do not become despondent in temptations, then, but give all the more thanks to God that He thus brings you to knowledge of yourself and wishes you to be corrected and be saved.

~St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

1 comment:

Allen said...

What an encouragement to keep on!