September 27, 2015

How A Christian Can Live in Society Without Being Scandalized (St. Paisios the Athonite)

St. Paisios the Athonite (+ 1994) was asked:

"Elder, how can someone today live rightly in society, as a Christian, without being scandalized by those who live far from God?"

"Why should they be scandalized by others who are not close to God? If such a person was in a family of six to eight children, and one or two of them were swept away by Satan and lived a sinful life, would this person be scandalized by their sinful life?"

"No, they will hurt for them, because they were their siblings."

"Well, therefore, the evil lies within us.

Because we don't have love, we don't feel other people to be our siblings and we are scandalized by their lives.

We are all one family and siblings between us, because all people are children of God.

If we truly feel we are siblings with all other people, we will hurt for those who live sinful lives and won't be scandalized by their sinful lives, but we will pray for them.

So, if we are scandalized, the evil is within us, not outside of us.

When we are scandalized, we should say to ourselves: 'And how many people do you scandalize? For God's sake, then tolerate your brethren.'"

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.