Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Orthocuban on how praise and adulation are temptations to sin and egotism in priests and religious leaders


Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are particularly subject to a couple of temptations. We are tempted by praise and adulation. As even Saint John Chrysostom admits, “I do not know whether anyone has ever succeeded in not enjoying praise.” I know I certainly have not succeeded. I enjoy being praised. I enjoy being told how good a sermon I preached. I enjoy hearing how my counsel simply changed someone’s outlook. Praise is deceptive because we do want to be good and faithful servants, and praise feeds that desire and allows us to feel as though that is true. As Jesus commented, we ought to say only that we are unworthy servants who have only done our duty. But, as Saint John admitted, that is a very difficult thing to say while actually believing it. Nay it is impossible, for Saint John comments that he does not know of anyone who has succeeded in such a thing. So, praise is deceptive because the praise can be true, but yet it still feeds our desire for adulation. The full deception of praise is that while being told the truth, we are in the process of being brought down and of having pride kindled within us.

aka, if you revel in the praise of others, even if that praise is based on stuff that is true, it's a kind of spiritual death through which you're likely to harm others and yourself.

It's been a while since we've had a link to Orthocuban here at Wenatchee The Hatchet.  Presbyterian though I be, it's fun and useful to link to Orthocuban every so often.

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