Дорога домой. Выпуск 45.4ар  [30нбр04]

ЧТО ТАКОЕ ГОРДЫНЯ
(по-английски)

В этом тексте мы приводим работу на английском языке, 50-летней давности. Так как это было до крайне-либеральной культурной революции 1960-ых годов, когда печатались книги духовного направления и даже довольно правильные рассуждения насчет гордыни. Сейчас таких книг достать нельзя.

Every sin is destructive for the sinner's neighbors, society and the sinner himself. Sin creates unhappiness, traumas, tragedies etc. The morally good act, on the other hand, is a constructive behavior and it creates peace, happiness and harmony among people and society itself. Sin is "unnatural" state for an Orthodox, this is why he is taught to achieve his "natural" state, the state without sin. Although it is recognized that only God is without sin, but we people always sin, we still have to try to come close to God, in His qualities. Orthodox Christian is taught, early in his life, to pay attention at his inner life and cleanse himself of all sinful deeds, actions, words or thoughts. The person who understands this and practices are peaceful, collected, knows what is right and what is wrong, balanced and has no complexes.

One of the greatest sins is pride. The problem with pride is that it does not appear by itself. The pride is like a trunk of the tree from which other sins, grow like branches: self-importance, self-glorification, vainglory, smugness, conceit, vanity, egotism, selfishness, looking down on other people, arrogance, racism, inability to take criticism. All these sins became part of the Western Culture and are slowly undermining its fabric.

Один из самых больших грехов -- гордость. Проблема с гордостью состоит в том, что она не появляется отдельно. Гордость походит на ствол дерева, от которого другие грехи, растут как ветви: самомнение, самовосхваление, самодовольство, тщеславие, тщеславие, самомнение, эгоизм, смотря свысока на других людей, высокомерие, расизм, неспособность слушать совет и критику. Все эти грехи стали частью Западной Культуры и медленно подрывают ее ткань.

Below we are taking a quotation from an old book about a pride. The book was written before 1960th cultural anti-Christian Revolution.


GOD DOES NOT LIKE PRIDE, VANITY AND ARROGANCE [1,2]

Are You OFTEN TEMPTED to look down on other people? Do you sometimes feel "stuck up" and haughty and pretty pleased with yourself? If that is the way you feel, then you are disobeying one of God's most often-repeated injunctions - that you be not proud.

      For it is surprising to see how many times God's word, the Bible, mentions pride and vanity. Someone figured out that there are more than a hundred places in the Bible where pride and vanity are condemned.

Now why do you think that God does not like pride, vanity and haughtiness? Because it is something that not only makes you unhappy, makes others unhappy and miserable, but also makes you forget God. In fact, God not only does not like pride and vanity, but you may read "God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6

Yes, pride is bound to make you unhappy. It is pride that leads you to think that no one is as good as you: are. It is pride that makes it hard for you to see the good in other people. It is pride that even blinds you to the goodness of God. It is pride that makes you envious and haughty and scornful and leads to heartbreaks, quarrels and even wars.

      How many times have you heard the expression "foolish pride"? It is a wise expression, for there are few things as foolish as pride. For pride in the insignificant things that most proud people cherish is indeed foolish.

      Nine times out of ten, whenever you see a proud person, it is rarely anything great or noble or worth while of which they are proud. It is more likely to be because they have a bigger barn than anyone else in the township, a fine house or automobile, a little more education or a little more money. And you can see at once that all these things do not add an inch to your stature as a man or a woman or as a child of God.

For pride makes you forget that unusual possessions and talents are all gifts of God, intended not to set you apart but to make you more of a servant to your fellow man. Instead of being proud of your possessions or talents, realize that you have a double obligation because you have been doubly endowed.

There is the tale told of the master organ builder who built such an organ for the church that God gave it the gift of playing all by itself whenever any who was true and good and humble entered the church. On his wedding day, the master organ builder was puffed up with pride as he thought of his wonderful genius and how the people would marvel. His bride entered the church first and the organ burst out with joyful music. But when the organ builder came through the portals, it was silent!

      The organ builder was astonished and could not understand it. But the old minister who was to perform the ceremony pointed out to him that his pride at a gift of God's was what kept the organ silent. The builder was truly repentant and as he and his bride went back up the aisle and through the doors, the organ pealed for both of them. As a general rule, however, you will find that the least talented, the people who do the least useful or important work are the very ones who are the most vain. You have only to look at the strut of a headwaiter, the self-important pose of a butler, the pomposity of a doorman in front of an expensive hotel, the swagger of a gambler, to see examples before you.

      Really important and useful men and women - the people who do the necessary work of the world, as a general rule are humble, whether they be the greatest or the least. The carpenter who does a workmanlike job is usually essentially a humble man in the finest sense of the word. The worker at the lathe or bench who turns out valuable and useful things is usually a humble man in that sense. The mother goes about her daily tasks humbly. The scientist and the doctor, aware of their responsibility, the vast knowledge of the universe which still lies beyond their grasp, are humble in the face of God's wonder and miracles. It is upon people like these that the world depends. These are the people whom God exalteth.

      During the Revolutionary War, a group of soldiers were piling up lumber. The work was heavy and the squad was short-handed. Superintending the work, but not moving, was a sergeant. A plainly dressed officer came up and asked the sergeant why he did not help the men. "Why, I'm the sergeant," answered the surprised man proudly.

      Without a word the officer took off his coat and helped the men with the lumber, while the sergeant looked on. When the lumber was piled he put on his coat and started away. The sergeant stopped him and asked: "Who are you? What's your name?" The officer stiffened to a salute and said: "General George Washington."

      The sergeant looked ridiculous and he was ridiculous. Proud and vain people are always ridiculous. There is something about the puffed-up man or woman that seems to make others want to "take them down a peg." It is that something which makes small boys want to throw snowballs at gentlemen in high hats. It is that something which makes a theatre audience laugh when the self-important man in the frock coat falls down.

Yes, people can stand many things in your character without caring to do anything about it, but there is something about foolish pride that seems to make people want to take you down.

It reminds one of the story of the young man all puffed up with pride who came to a very learned man and said: "I am going to graduate with the highest honors in my school." The old man asked: "What then?" Said the young follow, "Why then I am going to become one of the country's most famous lawyers." The old man nodded, "What then?" he said. "Why then I ought to become one of the richest men in the country with everything money can buy."

      The old man continued, "What then?" And the answer was: "Why then I suppose I'll receive all kinds of honors and live to a good old age." "Yes, and what then?" prodded the old man "Why then, why then, I guess I'll die," stammered the young man by now considerably deflated. "What then?" finally asked the wise old man. The young man couldn't answer. His pride did not take him that far - it did not take him to God. Then he knew how vain and silly were his thoughts thinking nothing of eternity and of God.

Yes, it is a good thing whenever you feel too self-important, too pleased with yourself to measure yourself by the yardstick of immensity and the clock of eternity. Ages and ages rolled past, millions of men and women were born, died and were dust before you were born. Your life on this earth is but a tick of a second on the clock of the universe which goes on eternally. Before you is eternity. And measured by the yardstick of immensity - with all the vastness of space on every side of you - up and down - east and west - in every direction - stretching on without beginning or end - how big do you think you are? It is thoughts like these which keep sensible people from being too important and proud and vain.

It is a good thing to sit down and think of yourself in that way once in a while. Yes, whenever you feel like getting too puffed up with your own importance, you need not even measure yourself by those immense measuring rods. There are millions and millions of people who are living their lives all over this earth who do not even know you are alive - who will never in all likelihood hear about you. This is always a sobering thought.

      It is like the explorer in Africa who went into the hut of a native chief. The chief had rings in his ears and nose. He was chief over a small tribe and was simply bursting with importance. The explorer paid him a few simple compliments on his well-stocked village. The chief brushed them impatiently aside and said through an interpreter: "Yes, yes, but what do they think of me in America?"

      Chiefs and kings and generals are not always the ones who deem themselves to be greater than they are. Ordinary folks give way to it also. It was pride that drove Adam out of the Garden of Eden, that drove Saul from his kingdom, that has driven man and wife, sister and brother apart. Foolish pride which was too proud to say: "I was wrong, forgive me."

      But he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

      Humility does not mean that you must always go about with lowered head and eyes, looking and feeling like a "poor worm." You can practice humility and still have confidence in yourself and your ability.

      It simply means that you do not push yourself forward. The test will come when you can take either the place of honor at the table of life or the least important place with the same grace. The test will come when you can do the most important work you can imagine or even the smallest task with the same ability and good spirit. If you can do these things, then your humility is the kind that God exalts and Jesus typifies.

It is the kind of humility that is not ashamed of honest work or which feels that certain jobs are beneath you. God has put you into this world to work and he does not rate one occupation over another. All have their place.

There is the story of the big clock in the steeple of the town hall in the village square and the little gold watch. The watch said to the clock: "I do no, like you. You are big and coarse and vulgar and made of brass. Now I am covered with gold. I have jewels within me and a beautiful crystal face. I am ever so delicately balanced and I certainly am a finer timepiece than you!"

      The big clock in the tower smiled gently. "That is true," he rumbled. "You have much to be proud of. But there is a man down there in the square who wants to know what time it is. My great hands will shine in his eyes and my bronze bell will ring the time in his ears. But supposing you come up here and tell him what time it is."

      In other words, we are all put here to serve our fellow men and God in the way we are best fitted. If we are best fitted to lead, then that is our work and not a source of vain pride. If we are fitted to follow, then that is our work and it is nothing of which we need be ashamed.

Be proud and you will build a wall which will shut you out from your fellow men. Be humble and frank and honest and you will find your fellow men making a pleasant path to your door. Be proud and you will always have to remember how superior you are. Be humble, yes, be childlike, and you will not have to strain or strut or pose. Your body and your mind will be relaxed and you will be happy in the truest sense of the word.

Let us pray: "For True Humbleness and Respect Before God."

 

PRAYER
For
TRUE HUMBLENESS AND RESPECT BEFORE GOD
"God gives grace unto the humble" (Ja. 4:6)

Dear heavenly Father, Lord of the ages,
whose presence is in the farthest reaches of the universe,
yet Who art forever near,
today I come to Thee with a humble heart.

O Father I do confess that sometimes
I have been tempted to be proud and vain
and satisfied with myself.
And I have been tempted to be haughty
to and look down on some of Thy children.
I have said and done things in pride
for which I truly am sorry now.

But, dear Father,
Thou hast promised that if we confess our sins,
Thou wilt forgive us and make us new again.
Please, dear Father,
give me that forgiveness now.
And from this time on
keep me from all pride
which might lead me to think of myself
more highly than I should.

Teach me that pride goeth before a fall,
Father, and so keep me from the foolishness of pride.
Teach me not to boast about, my possessions or my talents,
but humbly to remember that they are all gifts of Thine,
just loaned to me so that I might serve Thy children.
Help me to know that whatever I do,
I do it not with my strength alone, but With Thine.

Dear heavenly Father,
truly I shall try to do better.
Truly I have felt Thy wonderful promise of help
and forgiveness so much.
And now I feel that I can go forth with thoughts of Thee
- with thoughts of reverence and thankfulnness and love.

--Amen

Примечание
[1] Эта выписка взята из главы 36, стр. 246, из книги
"With God all things are possible. A Handbook of Life. From The Life Study Fellowship".
1988. Bantam Books, New York, NY. стр. 246

[2] "Arrogance" in the original was "Haughtiness"


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