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Receiving praise and thanks in this life


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 08:30 PM

Hello. I have heard it said that whenever we give someone praise and thanks for doing good works in this life, we rob them of their reward in the next.

​Is this true?

 

​Thanks,

 

​A



#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:35 PM

'Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!' - Luke 6:26.

'If you want to ruin a man, praise him.' - Elder Sophrony.

'When people begin to praise us, let us hurry to remember the multitude of our transgressions, and we will see that we are truly unworthy of that which they say and do in our honour.' - St John of the Ladder.

 

'The honour of men deprives you of true honour.' - St Gregory Palamas.

'I fear the love of people.' - Bishop Irenaeos.


 


Edited by Rdr Andreas, 14 March 2017 - 09:35 PM.


#3 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 09:57 PM

'A true Christian avoids the praise of men; not only avoids, but has a true fear of it.' - St Nikolai Velimirovich.



#4 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 01:44 AM

Okay that's what I thought.

So then my next questions are:

1. Why do bishops give awards to clergy and laypeople when this is clearly contrary to our beliefs?

​2. Why do priests accept them, when they of all people should know better?



#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:25 AM

As to 1., what awards do you mean?



#6 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:56 AM

For laypeople: the gramota.
For clergy: Right to wear the Nabedrennik, the right to wear the Purple skufia, the right to wear the violet Kamilavka, the right to wear the Gold pectoral cross, the right to wear the Palitza, the right to wear the Decorated cross, the right to wear the Miter, and others (they are listed on https://orthodoxwiki.org/Clergy_awards).



#7 Algernon

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:44 AM

Is it way off base to suggest that they (the bishops who issue awards) are teaching the faithful that they ought to seek the approval of men? How can this be a good thing?

 

"Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ." Gal 1:10



#8 Olga

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 12:05 PM

"Well done, good and faithful servant ...."

 

Who said those words, Algernon?



#9 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 02:55 PM

Such things as mentioned in post #6 as are give to clergy are surely indications of rank and seniority rather than the sort of praise the Fathers warn about.



#10 Lakis Papas

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:16 PM

There is a misunderstanding here, I think.

Public recognition of virtue and of spiritual development was exercised by Apostle Paul in several cases, and in other cases he critised spiritual degradation publicly. Church leaders have to present publicly paradigms of spiritual success or failure mainly for educational purposes. Also, Church fathers measure whether the person that accepts the public praise or the public critisism has the spiritual power to carry this kind of burden.

Finally, black/white is not the right methodology to understand spiritual laws.

#11 Algernon

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:14 AM

"Well done, good and faithful servant ...."

 

Who said those words, Algernon?

 

Olga,

It is precisely because we long to here these words from the Master that we want to avoid these words from men. Don't you agree?



#12 Algernon

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:18 AM

Church leaders have to present publicly paradigms of spiritual success ...for educational purposes.

 

We have the lives of the saints for this purpose.



#13 Ilaria

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:38 AM

As Lakis pointed, one cannot reduce the spiritual life to yes/no prescriptions. We have enough examples of people being praised for their Christian virtues - the one I have in mind now is the way saint John Chrisostom praised saint Olimipada in his letters to her and to others.


The spiritual life is unique, what is good for you may not be good for me…

 

Finally, we should be careful with the way we receive praises, not to the praises addressed to the others…



#14 Kosta

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:12 AM

Hello. I have heard it said that whenever we give someone praise and thanks for doing good works in this life, we rob them of their reward in the next.

​Is this true?

 

​Thanks,

 

​A

 

I dont believe this is true. What the Father's and saints warn about is the giving of praise puffs one up where he loses humility and can make him stumble. This is what happened to Staretz St Silouan as a young monk he was constantly praised for his obedience and unceasing prayer.  He then fell into a deep depression recognizing he did everything to impress the other monks, he then even had encounter with demons telling him that he is already a saint or he is saved other time he is unsaved and other (contradictory) things. This would puff up his pride and then tear him down to despair  I also believe this is why he miraculously received the saying of, 'Keep your mind in hell, and do not despair" . Basically praise brings pride and vanity to the one being praised which in turn leads one to haughtiness which is the opposite of being meek.



#15 Olga

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 11:37 AM

Olga,

It is precisely because we long to here these words from the Master that we want to avoid these words from men. Don't you agree?

 

No, I do not agree. Ilaria and Kosta have shown examples from Holy Tradition which easily contradict your unnecessarily rigid view. There is quite a difference between seeking praise for one's self, and accepting praise from others while not being swayed by vanity or pride.

 

From 1 Tim: 5:

 

Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain", and, “The labourer is worthy of his wages.”

 

“The labourer is worthy of his wages.” The same Man originally said these words.






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