St. Theophan the Recluse: Temptation to Sin

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Friday, December 1 (November 18), 2023
1Tim. 4:4-8,16; Lk. 16:15-18, 17:1-4      

It is impossible but that temptations to sin will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!” [Lk. 17:1].  Thus, we must not be reckless in our life, we may not take it easily.  We should rather be careful and considerate, lest we cause a temptation for someone.

A puffed-up mind has no concern about anyone around, while stirring offence and temptations by deeds and words.  As they grow, the offender falls into an ever-deepening trouble without even feeling that, and keeps expanding his temptation.  It might be viewed as a benefit that God’s threat to such offenders does not usually come true in the earthly life, in hope of their repentance; only at the Last Judgment will they realize what a great evil it is to cause temptation.  Here, however, hardly anyone would worry if his actions and words become a temptation for someone else.

Two sins, extremely grave in the eyes of the Lord, are counted for nothing by men.  These two sins are temptation and condemnation.  According to God’s word, it were better for a tempter not to live at all [Lk. 17:2], and those who condemn are already condemned  [Lk. 6:37].  Neither one, nor the other think of their fate and cannot even say whether they are guilty of anything like that.  What a dismal blindness, indeed, is surrounding is, and how negligent we are to the impending death!

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