Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk
Bad talk’s a great evil. It’s a terrible thing for others to hurl themselves at you and besmirch you.
It happens. Out of nowhere. Suddenly. Sometimes it’s a fair judgment by God on us; sometimes it isn’t.
- In the first instance, when we ourselves are to blame because we’d been guilty of wicked actions and activities, attributing to others reproaches similar to those aimed at us, it’s our duty not to dwell on how much we’ve suffered but to make sure we put things to right, including ourselves. Then the torrent of abuse against use will stop.
- In the event that they speak badly about us and we can’t remember ever having done so to the detriment of others, it’s natural for us to be upset.
But perhaps we ought to consider that, even in that event, we might not be quite so innocent as we suppose.
Perhaps I behaved badly to others, without realizing and without meaning to.
Perhaps I judged and condemned others.
- Never forget
You’ll be measured by the criteria with which you yourself measure,
You’ll be judged on the basis of your sins.
At the same time, there’s something else we shouldn’t forget:
Every attack against us isn’t solely wicked; it’s also a blessing. It helps us to become better, to acquire humility. A wicked tongue, a poisonous tongue is a ‘messenger from Satan’ as Saint Paul says (2 Cor. 12, 7), sent by God to ‘give us a slap’, to stop us becoming conceited. To help us rein in our vanity, our high opinion of ourself, our self-satisfaction.
God allows this in order to get us to take a good look at ourselves. Because it’s only when we gaze inwards, at our inner world, at the way we react to such verbal attacks, that we can understand what’s hidden inside us. Wrath and anger or kindness and meekness?
If you answer curses directed at you and slander with resentment and bitterness, it’s obvious that you’re full of wrath and anger.
If you answer with patience and forbearance, then you have inner peace and meekness.
So, let’s never forget:
Curses, slander and verbal attacks help us to understand what’s inside us. They help us to realize what our internal state is.
That’s no small matter.
ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK
Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. Click to signup to receive weekly newsletter.
Join us in our Media Ministry Missions! Help us bring the Orthodox Faith to the fingertips of Orthodox Christians worldwide! Your gift today will helps us produce and provide unlimited access to Orthodox faith-inspiring programming, services and community. Don’t wait. Share the Love of Orthodoxy Today!
OCN has partnered with Pemptousia. A Contemporary post-modern man does not understand what man is. Through its presence in the internet world, Pemptousia, with its spirit of respect for beauty that characterizes it, wishes to contribute to the presentation of a better meaning of life for man, to the search for the ontological dimension of man, and to the awareness of the unfathomable mystery of man who is always in Christ in the process of becoming, of man who is in the image of divine beauty. And the beauty of man springs from the beauty of the Triune God. In the end, “beauty will save the world”.