By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
Vainglory is a hidden evil, unseen hypocrisy, fatal plague, worms which spoil the good works and lying arrogance which depict us in an untrue picture, and fantasies virtues and gifts which is not in us or even know it, and blinds us of our weaknesses!
is a pro-thief, which steals all our goods, and robs the fruits of our efforts.
Beware; O beloved, for it is the proof of boasting, and the imprint of pride.
Beware, for yourself, lest you be leading the right path in your virtues, and vainglory robs you of it, thus sinking you in the harbor, and robs you when you are safe.
Just like a man who filled his ship with precious goods, and then found that there is a small hole in it, threatening its safety and dooming it to sink and vanish!
When someone praises you, remember that several sins and many faults, you fall short of, and that it is in control of you, therefore, you'll find yourself not worthy of this or that praise.
Put in mind that virtue does not need the praise of people, for this vain glory is the enemy of the truth, and a purpose of lying, and a partner of hypocrisy, for it pushes people to be motivated for the 'first and best seats' (cf. Matthew 23:6).
Vainglory is a fierce beast, or a broken vessel, which does not keep what is put in it of virtues.
The works of its owner is like smoke vanishing and evaporating in the air, so; beware of the hollow vain glory, for it is a cunning thief which robs you all what you have gained of virtues, and urges your soul not to worry, till it puts you of balance and makes you feeling-less.
St. Gregory said; 'Vainglory is a hidden and masked thief, which accompany you along your journey, as if it is 'a passer-by', then before you know it, it robs you and then kills you, when you feel extremely safe'.
St. Basil the Great said; 'It snatches the spiritual treasures in a sweet way, while being our enemy-sweetly'.
If God adorned you with high virtues, do not defile it or lose it by 'vainglory'. After you put the effort and worked hard to acquire a virtue, you can become a bitter loser and will acquire nothing, as king Solomon said: "grasping for the wind" (Ecclesiastics 1:14).
Cure and remedy this illness or disease by doing all things for the glory of God.
Let your goal be to please God in your works. Do not be like Nebuchednazzer who boasted saying; "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my might power and for the honor of my majesty?" (Daniel 4:30). But, rather, be like Samson who killed a lion, and did not tell his father or mother (cf. Judges 14:6).
If you heard someone praising you, give glory to God, for unto Him only do we ascribe glory.
Hannah, Samuel's mother, said; "Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the Lord is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed ... He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory" (I Samuel 2:3, 8).
Do you need a strong medicine, which will cure you and protect you from vainglory? Focus your intentions in all what you do, for the glory of the Holy God. As much as your intention is clear, your work will be of worthiness before the Lord; "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness" (Matthew 6:22, 23). For the eye is the intention; "For the first-fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches" (Romans 11:16). But if the roots are spoiled, therefore do not expect fruits other than 'logs' available for fire!
Those who seek the glory from the world are like a devil which robs the rights of God. So, always remember to glorify God as it is written:
"To God alone ... be honor and glory" (I Timothy 1:17).
"I Am the Lord ... My glory I will not give to another" (Isaiah 42:8).
"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory" (Psalms 115:1).
"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).
"If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 4:11).
So, if you taught people, or cautioned them, or served them, or did good unto others, do everything for His glory; "doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Ephesians 6:7).
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