A taste of Chrysostom
“You can continue to fast, sleep on the ground, eat cinders, weep without ceasing. But if you are not useful to others, you are doing nothing worthwhile.”
-St. John Chrysostom
St. John’s statement, the first time I read it, troubled me. Am I really doing nothing worthwhile if I am not of use to people, even if I am trying very hard to serve God and prepare my heart to receive Him on a daily basis? However, I posted the quotation because servant hood has always been important to us in scripture. Today, though, I recognize the gravity of St. John’s words.
St John the apostle says, “He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2). He makes a direct relationship between our love for the brethren and our status as servants of God. Furthermore, Christ offers a compelling analogy to illustrate the necessity of loving mankind in his “I was in prison” parable in Matt. 25. To love and serve mankind is to worship God. Simply … If we are not sure how to love God, we should love our neighbor.
Tim, ready for a Wednesday ….