How to defeat the sin of conviction?
The sin of condemnation is perhaps one of the most common spiritual vices of mankind. Without exaggeration, we can say that almost everyone, without exception, is more or less affected. Often, however, it may not be expressed apparently, not pronounced out loud. A big problem is the fact that it is not perceived by many as a disease or a vice, but, on the contrary, it seems to be the generally accepted norm. Meanwhile, the condemnation of neighbors is one of the most destructive and destructive passions of the existing. What is its danger and what are the ways to overcome it?
What is the danger of sin?
Why is the condemnation of others so disastrous for the human soul? After all, not a single idle talk, if you think about it, is complete without it. We are so accustomed to looking at someone else's flaws in a microscope and passing our own sentence that we consider this to be even a sign of our deep morality and religiosity.However, on the contrary, this indicates an extremely low level of our spiritual development. Why?
Condemning our neighbors, we place ourselves at the level of judges over them, thereby taking this right away from the Supreme Judge. Not tolerating other vices or shortcomings, we put such a visible injustice as a reproach to the Creator, who, as it seems to us, for some reason hesitates and does not punish sinners. That is why the sin of condemnation is an extraordinary boldness and even indirect blasphemy against God.
But if you honestly imagine what would be waiting for us, if the Judgment of God happened right now, then the picture, you see, would not be a pleasant one. Especially if the same measures that we apply to others would be applied to us. In the Gospel there are these words:Judge not lest ye be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with what measure you measure, it will be measured to you. ()
What are the main causes of vice?
For a successful and fruitful struggle with passions, it is undoubtedly important to know their reason. In the same way as a bodily disease, one can finally win, only by disabling its focus, and not reducing the symptoms. What is the main reason for the sin of conviction? The same thing that made the once highest of all the Dawnstorm below all, is pride.
A proud and self-confident person lacks self-criticism.He is able to notice only other people's shortcomings, to seeknot in the eye of your neighborand not to notice the "logs" in his. And indeed, if everyone could look at himself from the impartial side, it would become obvious that we are much more indebted to God than those whom we have condemned.
A very clear example of this is the Gospel example of how we usually deal with our neighbors, the parable of an unmerciful debtor. The king forgave his slave ten thousand talents, after which the slave immediately demanded a much smaller amount of one hundred denarii from his fellow debtor without any delay. Having learned about this, the king, of course, was angry and ordered to imprison his debtor, that is, he did the same to him as he did to his neighbor (). In consonance with her and the Gospel story of the forgiveness of the wife of the adulterer ().
That is why the condemnation of others is always based on the wrong self-esteem, on the invisibility of their sins, which is very wrong, wrong and requires a lot of work on yourself. In addition, we forget that at any moment the sinner can repent, while we ourselves will certainly be punished for our condemnation.
If you condemn your neighbor, then together with him you condemn the same thing in which you condemn him- said the Rev. Seraphim of Sarov. The psychology of sin of condemnation also shows that we often blame others for what we ourselves sin, not noticing this. Or, according to the immutable spiritual laws, we soon fall into the same, only the most severe sin in which someone was convicted.
Condemnation and reasoning: how do they differ from each other?
However, all this does not mean that we should be absolutely insensitive to any evil, to the evil passions of men. Experienced clergymen say that we must distinguish sin from good, that spiritual reasoning should always take place. How does the reasoning differ from condemnation, how to recognize them?
The criterion here is quite simple: if you do not feel for a person who has acted badly, of bad feelings, disgust for him personally, but on the contrary, you regret about him, then this is reasoning. Otherwise it will be a sin of condemnation. Why the holy fathers and taught what is neededhate sin but love sinner. Sometimes, with the benefit of saving the soul of a neighbor, it can and be carefully denounced.But it is permissible to do this, according to the apostle, onlyin the spirit of meekness() and love, otherwise we will only harm ourselves and those who have sinned.
Most often, condemnation is accompanied by other sinful skills associated with it, which also adversely affect a person’s spiritual development. Among them are the following:
You can get rid of most of them if you condemn the sin of condemnation. How to do it?
Fighting sinful skill
Schiarchimandrite Vitaly (Sidorenko) called the easiest way to salvation - not to condemn anyone. But what is called easy here, in fact, is very difficult to achieve: so deeply given habit has ingrained in each of us. We will provide only some of the advice of spiritual people who will help to accomplish this.
The first thing is to admit to yourself that we are all infected with the sin of conviction. Secondly, there must be absolute determination and the desire to get rid of it. Since we are weak in ourselves, and the struggle with passions requires great powers,one must continually ask for help in this (as in everything else) from the Savior. And then, seeing our good will and maximum efforts, He will help.
You can ask for help in your own words. And can every morning after morning prayers say:Help me, Lord, to judge no one this day.. It is also recommended to read the third part of the famous prayer of Ephraim Sirin:Lord, I grant my peace my transgressions and not condemn my brother.
Indeed, the very best “recipe” of how to overcome the sin of judgment is to always remember and reflect on your own sins.Who is busy with the knowledge of oneself, he has no time to notice others. Condemn yourself and stop condemning others- says Seraphim of Sarov. The Holy Fathers also figuratively compared the condemning to those who go to mourn the dead in a strange house when there is a dead man lying near the house.
They advised everyone to treat themselves strictly, and to others condescendingly, to consider everyone as angels. This may seem strange and hypocritical, but if you think about it, the behavior of many people depends on how we perceive them, how we treat them. Of course, this requires a lot of work on yourself. But we must start small.
For example, if we fail to refrain from mentally condemning others, then at least we can try to keep our language from slander for now. Because by this we only multiply evil, we also introduce into the temptation our interlocutors. In addition, if we ourselves hear in a conversation that someone is being talked about badly, then it is better to move away from such a conversation. Otherwise, we also become an accomplice of sin on a par with the one who slanders.
If we still could not avoid accusatory words or thoughts addressed to someone, then we should try to make amends for it in the future with good words about him. But the most effective way to combat the sin of condemnation will be a sincere prayer for those who have saddened us. Spiritual fathers even advised to pray for the sinner as for himself, for example, with these words:Lord, bless all I have condemned (the names), and their holy prayers and me, cursed, have mercy.
Another effective and proven tool in the fight against passions is to heal their opposing virtues.
What of the positive human qualities can be opposed to the condemnation of others? These include, for example, the following:
- impartiality (the same attitude towards all);
- love of neighbor;
By cultivating in them, it is possible to achieve great spiritual development, to bring true repentance. Now it will be confirmed not only by words, but by deeds.
Judge not lest ye be judged
A lot of examples about the importance of abstaining from the sin of condemnation are contained in the ancient patericons, in the lives of the saints. We present only some of them.
In one monastery there lived a monk who was known as very lazy and careless. However, when he was dying, an extraordinary light appeared, the angels took him to heaven. The brethren were perplexed. Then it was revealed to them that the only virtue of this monk is that he never condemned anyone.
In another monastery, the elder somehow strongly condemned his novice. After this night he had a vision. An angel appeared before him, holding in his hand the soul of that novice. He asked the elder: if the fate of a novice is now being decided, where will the elder order his soul to go - to hell or to heaven? And then the elder realized how dangerous the condemnation of others was, and repented.
One famous devotee, Abba Isaiah, once saw a monk sin fornication, walked by, saying:If the God who created him, seeing this, does not burn him, who am I to denounce him?
Another instructive example of how important work on oneself, and not on others, is contained in the life of Moses Murin. Once, the brethren called him to a meeting where the trial of the sinned monk was to take place. Then the monk found an old basket with holes, filled it with sand, with which he went to the meeting. The brethren asked him:What does this mean?". To which the saint replied: “My sins are poured out from behind me, and I do not see them, but I came today to judge the sins of another!
About whether it is possible to completely get rid of popular passion, and how to do it, Professor A.I. Osipov will tell in the following video: