Dorotheos2A man can know nothing about the judgments of God. He alone is all-seeing and can judge the sins of all as He alone knows.

Truly it happens that a man may do some sin out of simplicity, but he may have something good about him which is more pleasing to God than his whole life; and you sit in judgment and burden your own soul?

And should it happen that he has fallen away, how do you know how much and how well he fought, how much blood he sweated before he did it?

Perhaps so little fault can be found in him that God can look on his action as if it were just, for God looks on his labor and all the struggle he had before he did it, and has pity on him.

And you know only his sin, then how God spared him; are you going to condemn him for it, and destroy your own soul?

And how do you know what tears he has shed about it before God? You may well know about the sin, but you do not know about the repentance.

[…] Those who want to be saved scrutinize not the shortcomings of their neighbor but always their own, and they make progress.

Such was the man who saw his brother doing wrong and sighed, saying, “Woe is me; him today—me tomorrow!” Do you see his caution?

[…] When he said “me tomorrow” he aroused fear of sinning, and by this he increased his caution about avoiding those sins which he was likely to commit….

He cast himself under his brother’s feet, saying, “He has repented for his sin but I do not always repent as I should, nor do I attain to repentance, for I have not the strength to repent.”

[…] And we wretches judge rashly, we loathe and despise if we see something, or hear something, or even only suspect something!

[…] We do the devil’s work and are not one bit concerned about it. What else has the devil to do but disturb and harm us? We are found to work with him for our own destruction and that of our neighbor, for a man who harms his own soul is working with, and helping, the demons.

The man who seeks to profit his soul is co-operating with the angels. How is it that we fall into this state unless it is because we have no true love?

If we had true love, then we would view our neighbor’s shortcomings with co-suffering and compassion, as it is said, Love shall cover the multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Love thinketh no evil; covers everything and the rest (1 Cor. 13:5).

Dorotheos of Gaza (505-565 or 620): Conference 6 – That We Should Not Judge Our Neighbour @ Pravoslavie.

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