Putting the Blame in the Right Place
“A humble and spiritually active man, when he reads the Holy Scriptures, will refer everything to himself and not to another.” Saint Mark the Ascetic
We all have a natural tendency to lay blame on others, when in truth we must blame only ourselves. When facing our own sins and shortcomings, it is always easy to put the blame on others, yet our faith tells us that spiritual progress can only come with the acquisition of a humble and contrite heart. As long as we are anxious to put the blame on others for our shortcomings, we will remain stagnant on the spiritual path. The saints give clear witness that progress towards holiness can only come when we look only to our own faults, and not see the faults of others.
It is far more comfortable to see the wickedness of others, for in focusing on them, we can forgo the all important work of changing our own behavior, and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform our own fallen nature. Focusing on the shortcomings of others allows our own self-serving pride to grow stronger, and we remain puffed up, and wallow in unfounded pride.
When we keep our attention focused on our own shortcomings, we keep vigilant until our last day, guarding our soul until the final judgement. When we take our eyes off our own faults, while focusing on our neighbor’s sin, we deprive ourselves of precious time for repentance. Since we do not know the day or hour of our last breath, we must treat every moment as though it were our last.
With love in Christ,
About the author
Fr. Tryphon is the Abbot of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, which was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.