google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Teachings of Seraphim 08

TOS.jpgTeachings of Seraphim

 
Part 8. Non-Judgment and Forgiveness

 

It is not right to judge anyone, even if you have seen someone sinning and wallowing in the violations of God’s laws with your own eyes, as is said in the word of God: "Judge not, that you not be judged" (Mt. 7:1). "Who are you that you judge another man’s servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand" (Rom. 14:4). It is much better always to bring to memory the words of the apostle: "Wherefore let him who thinks he stands take heed incase he falls" (1 Cor. 10:12).

One must not harbor anger or hatred towards a person that is hostile toward us. On the contrary, one must love him and do as much good as possible towards him, following the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you" (Mt. 5:44). If then we will try to fulfill all this to the extent of our power, we can hope that God’s light will begin to shine in our hearts, lighting our path to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Why do we judge our neighbors? Because we are not trying to get to know ourselves. Someone busy trying to understand himself has no time to notice the shortcomings of others. Judge yourself — and you will stop judging others. Judge a poor deed, but do not judge the doer.

It is necessary to consider yourself the most sinful of all, and to forgive your neighbor every poor deed. One must hate only the devil, who tempted him. It can happen that someone might appear to be doing something bad to us, but in reality, because of the doer's good intentions, it is a good deed. Besides, the door of penitence is always open, and it is not known who will enter it sooner — you, "the judge," or the one judged by you.

An excerpt from the teachings of Seraphim of Sarov of the 18th & 19th centuries. He was one of the most renowned Russian saints in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Seraphim extended the monastic teachings of contemplation, theoria and self-denial to the layperson.

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