From “Orthodox on Purpose”:
Today, hear from St. Peter: “Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness…” 2 Peter 3:11
What we believe, truly believe, shapes our daily practice and behavior. In fact, regardless of your words, your actions reveal your heart’s deeply held beliefs. As my grandmother said to me many times “Your actions are so loud, I can’t hear what you are saying.”
The daily struggle to practice the faith is one based on a continuous need for honest self-knowledge and humility. This can only lead to one continuous practice of repentance. But this repentance isn’t some morbid drudgery of psychological self-immolation, but the sober and actually hopeful confession that no matter how many times I repent, God always forgives. The work of repentance is not for God’s benefit. He already, and always will, love me more that I, myself know how to love.
No, the labor of repentance and the ever seeking of holiness and godliness, is the daily journey within my own heart to be honest with myself, knowing all the while this isn’t about shaming me into some external behavior, but a transformation of my heart to love God more than my own self-delusions. It is this honest and trusting opening of my own soul to God’s gentle and tender mercy that violently transfigures my motivations and actions.
Today, in light of the temporariness of this life, and in light of the overwhelming mercy of a God Who means me no harm, how honest am I willing to be about myself? As we approach Great Lent, may God give us the courage to see only our own sins and not those of our brother. Daily, we stand at the door of this eternal invitation to freedom. Today, be Orthodox on Purpose.