Condemn Yourself, not Your Neighbor

Those who want to be saved pay no attention to the failings of their neighbors, but always look for their own and so make progress. Such was the man who, seeing that his brother had sinned, sighed and said, “Woe unto me! As he has sinned today, so shall I sin tomorrow.” Do you see the wise disposition of his soul, and how he at once found the means of avoiding condemnation of his brother? For in saying “so shall I sin tomorrow” he prompted himself to fear that he too might soon commit a sin and to pay heed to this – and so he escaped condemning his neighbor. Moreover, not content with this, he prostrated himself at his feet saying, “This one will repent his sin, while I shall not repent as I ought. I shall not attain to repentance, shall not have the strength to repent.” Do you see the enlightenment of a divine soul?

–St. Abba Dorotheus, Early Fathers from the Philokalia, p. 164

2 thoughts on “Condemn Yourself, not Your Neighbor

  1. Wow! I'll have to remember that phrase, “Woe unto me! As he has sinned today, so shall I sin tomorrow.” and incorporate it into my internal monologue – which would be much better than what really goes on in there!!

    Like

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