Day 16: daily lent practice: How? Don’t be deceived by praise (ii)

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“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name
give glory.” (Ps 115:1)

“That you may not fall into pride, vainglory,
carelessness or other ruinous delusion in the face
either of deserved or, especially undeserved praise,
as unfortunately so often happens:

a) Try to look with distrust on the praise given
you, and if the praise is continued for a long time, then
it is best to interrupt the conversation politely and turn
it to another topic.

b) Remember well what is what is worthy of praise
in you is not yours, but God’s. It was, indeed, something
we acquired because we tried to acquire it, but who
gave us the disposition, ability, strength, desire and
opportunity to obtain it, if not God? ‘For who makes
you differ from another? And what do you have that
you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?’ the
Holy Apostle Paul tells the man with self-esteem (1
Cor 4:7). So when you perceive in yourself something
worthy of praise, immediately ascribe it not to yourself,
but to the Lord God saying with the Psalmist ‘Not unto
us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory.’
(Ps 115:1)

When you perceive in yourself something worthy of
praise, and you feel a desire to tell others about it, try
immediately to destroy this desire with the thought that
you will not receive any benefit from relating it, but only
harm. People are very fickle in their opinions: what they
praise today, they forget or even condemn tomorrow.
And of course, by telling of what is praiseworthy in
you, you are making yourself unworthy of praise
from God, because you are receiving your reward
from people. ‘Assuredly, I say to you, they have their
reward,’ said the Lord of people of this type (Matt
6:5). Also, try always to remember these important
words of the Lord: ‘Woe to you when all men speak well
of you.’ (Luke 6:26)”

Metropolitan Gregory (Postikov) of St Petersburg


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