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St John Chrysostom: The our actions often belie our words...

We who are disciples of Christ claim that our purpose on earth is to lay up Treasures in Heaven. But our actions often belie our words.

Many Christians build for themselves fine houses, lay out splendid gardens, construct bathhouses and buy fields. It is small wonder, then, that many heathens refuse to believe what we say.

‘If their eyes are set on mansions in Heaven’, they ask, ‘why are they building mansions on earth? If they put their words into practice, they would give away riches and live in simple homes’.

So these heathens conclude that we do not sincerely believe in the religion we profess; and as a result they refuse to take this religion seriously.

You may say that the words of Christ on these matters are too hard for you to follow; and that while your spirit is willing, your flesh is weak.

My answer is that the judgement of the heathens about you is more accurate than your judgement of yourself. When heathens accuse us of hypocrisy, many of us should plead guilty.

St John Chrysostom
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