Monday, March 8, 2010

Avoid the Pee- Pee

I heard it once said that the mature Christian should avoid the Pee-pee. Now I am a grandfather and when I change his diaper he sometimes does a little pee-pee and well, you know, get some clean pee-jays. However that is not the kind of Pee-pee being referred to here. Rather it is about the tendency for us to seek out, intentionally, or unintentionally the praise of others, or the pity of others. Both are means of validating our wounded egos: by soliciting others praise or pity we are seeking to be noticed in the eyes of others rather than God. One is temporal, darkness, and death: the other is eternal, light, and life. We are meant to lift up Jesus, not ourselves. Praise and pity from others falls short of this and our need for it is a reflection of our immaturity.

LORD have mercy, Brian+

A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, “Abba, give me word, that I may be saved.” So the old man said, “Go to the cemetery and abuse the dead.” The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, “Didn’t they say anything to you?” He replied, “No.” The old man said, “Go back tomorrow and praise them.” So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, “Apostles, saints and righteous men.” He returned to the old man and said to him, “I have complimented them.” And the old man said to him, “Did they not answer you?” The brother said no. The old man said to him, “You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak; so you too if you wised to be saved must do the same and become a dead man. Like a dead man take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved.

* This excerpt was taken from the book “The Sayings of the Desert Fathers” translated by Benedicta Ward

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