ORTHODOXY AND PRACTICAL LIFE 2
"Beloved I pray that you may prosper in all things, and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, as you do walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 1:2-4).
It is important for us to have an integrated personality, and by this we mean being successful in all areas of human nature. The human personality is the combination of a person and society. Human beings consist of five important components : the SPIRIT with which we communicate with God, the MIND with which we study, think and analyse, the PSYCHE with which we feel, have desires and instincts, the BODY, and the RELATIONS which we have with those around us.
The outcome of these components = your personality.
If these five ingredients are not satisfied in the right way, then there will be a disturbance and imbalance in the personality. The Orthodox personality is one that has all these five components functioning together in harmony.
SPIRIT : with the
spirit we communicate with God and with the metaphysical, and if we come
into contact with God and possess God, then we will be divine human
beings, just as Pope Athanasius once said, "One with God is the
majority". The spirit is the most important component in a personality,
because it adds infinity to you and adds God Himself to your life, and
through prayer you are going to open your small heart to the heart of
God, and your limited life to the life of the Lord, and your finite
being to the infinite God. Sometimes we may feel weak, but we must never
forget that God is with us, and just as St. Paul the Apostle wrote,
"...when I am weak, then I am strong..." (2 Cor. 12:10). By this he
meant that in weakness I am going to ask for the power of God to help me
and strengthen me. We can obtain this power through reading the Bible,
reading spiritual books, receiving the Holy Communion, praying from the
Agbia as well as free prayer, and through repeating over and over, "My
Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon me!" This small prayer is called the
'arrow prayer' because it pierces the heavens and reaches the Lord, and
we receive a reply on the spot. Do not neglect your spirit or else it
will be atrophy - you must nourish your spirit.
V MIND : human
beings differ from animals because they have a mind and a spirit as well
as a body and psyche, whereas animals only have body and psyche.
Therefore we must utilise our mental ability through reading and
studying and thinking, or else our mind will stop functioning and will
be completely void of general knowledge. Sometimes, due to the age of
technology and media, our thinking becomes redundant because all our
thinking is done for us. But this is very dangerous because eventually
our minds will become stagnate and will not be willing to think. The
orthodox personality is prosperous both spiritually and mentally, just
as St. Peter says, "...grow in grace and knowledge..." (2 Peter 3:18 ),
otherwise our life will not be balanced.
V PSYCHE : The
biggest problem with instincts and emotions is how to control them.
Sexual desires are heavenly and holy because through them you are going
to receive the sacrament of marriage and then bear children; thereby
increasing the number of saints on earth as well as in heaven. Also, the
desire to eat is important because without this desire, you will die.
Likewise, curiosity is very important because without it we would not
have been able to discover or invent. Emotions are also important for
expressing and experiencing love for your family and friends. But one
thing is required in all these things : CONTROL.
BODY : These days
there is total lack of self control over our eating habits. If you take
a typical day, consider how many times we eat : breakfast, snack, lunch,
snack, dinner, snack, supper, pizza! Yes we must feed the body, but have
self control through fasting. And it is also important to keep the body
healthy by doing sports and activities and having enough sleep, and
abstaining from drinking, drugs and smoking.
V RELATIONS : It is
important for us to lead a happy life: at home with our family, at
church through being an active and participating member, and in society,
where we must have a sociable personality that can socialise without
being lost - interacting with strong flexibility and always being a good
"...add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control; perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and do abound, they keep you from being either barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(2 Peter 1:5-7)
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