An Egyptian brother came to see Abba Zeno in Syria, and accused himself to the old man about his temptations. Filled with admiration, Zeno said, ‘ The Egyptians hide the virtues they possess and ceaselessly accuse themselves of faults they do not have, while the Syrians and Greeks pretend to have virtues they do not have, and hide the faults of which they are guilty.’
—–sayings of the desert
Guilt driven humility and hypocrisy rob God of his glory. These traits are more similar than we realize.
We have our own brand of guilt driven Egyptians in our society this very day. They have been so weighted down by the rules of religion that they fail to shine forth the light that the Creator has bestowed upon them. Out of guilt they hide their light under a bushel basket . The scripture tells us, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” God says let ,”your light shine!”
Hypocrites – we certainly have our share. Our modern day Syrians and Greeks populate some of the more prestigious seats in our society. They are found in government, in the sports arena and certainly in our churches. They are taught very early to put their best foot forward and to spin the story in their favor. Such people are admired and put forth as role models for all to follow. The scripture gives us a warning about such behavior. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.”
God created us with both good and bad, so let us never forget that we all sin and fall short of him. That being said, we are the vessels that carry forth His light to the world. We are called to be a genuine cracked, bruised and flawed works that are mended together by His love and grace. Today the Abba calls on us to think on these things.