Quote Elder Symeon: Spiritual Wisdom:
Every Christian, on the one hand, ought not to rush and on the other, he ought to push himself forward. To rush is to run, to move on hurriedly before it’s good time in spiritual terms. Whereas to push on –“the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence”– is to oblige, to press, to force yourself to do God’s will. The other thing, rushing, is making haste to reach a point which you are still not ready to reach, before it’s due time. As a result, you definitely get into the wrong track.
Let us tune in our will to the will of God and move on according to it. And let us bear in mind that God’s will isn’t about reaching some place, but following the road that He has set for us. His will is that we move on keeping the pace He wishes us to keep. He doesn’t wish us to do things as we please or think fit.
The problem isn’t simply that we are sinners, or that the sin exists inside us. The problem is we do not deal with the whole matter as we should. Why are you afraid of admitting that you’re a sinner, that you have sin inside? Why are you afraid of it? That’s your salvation; your sin itself is your salvation.
Salvation, of course, from sin. Why? Because admitting to your sin truly helps you attain humility. It keeps you in touch with reality, too: you are not under the false impression that spiritually you are somebody important or that you carry out some significant spiritual struggle. !(https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/orthodox.river/photos/30_oct_ dragutin_theoktist_in_monasticism_of_serbia.jpg#right-25)
If you look closely at the deep, inner state of yourself, you will realize that there is such villainy, such darkness, such meanness and guile, that there is no time to deal with what the other person does. You do not have the luxury of paying attention to his mistake. It’s not that you don’t see what the other is like, or, that he does that particular thing.
You don’t, however, stick to these, but you look more deeply into his soul: he is also a man for whom Christ has died and, if he repents, God will sanctify him. Then, you sympathize with him, you love him, you sacrifice yourself for his sake, like Christ did.
When a man comes to his senses
When man comes to his senses and is eager to start fighting the good fight, he’ll have many falls, but every time he’ll rise himself. He’ll fail many times, but every time he’ll try to keep up with Christ’s commands. This is how repenting is followed up by more repenting and becomes a constant state.
When man fights an honest struggle there comes a time, when he sees for himself that unless the Lord steps in, he can’t be saved; unless the Lord gives His grace, he can’t be saved. Even more, he is totally incapable of carrying out an honest struggle, unless God gives a hand.
And the desire for salvation burns in man like a blazing fire, as well as the longing to love Christ, the brothers and the fellow man. Then, man can see that the path to God opens up and everything is simple and easy.
A man who blames himself for his sins, experiences this truth and this reality: that he’s a sinful “nothing”. He gives up all hope that something good is going to come out of him and, naked of such hope, he presents himself before God. And as there are no obstacles for God anymore, He grants lavishly His grace, which makes a true person out of man.
The more the Spirit of God dwells in man, the more down to earth man becomes and the more aware of the truth of life.
The men of God, who are God’s instruments, do daring things and sometimes speak daring words. They’re daring, but they don’t act out of impudence or compulsion; no. It is the Spirit of God that guides them, and they remain calm and prudent. And when they act, they do so in due time.