The person I’m about to describe sounds like a character from a Star Wars movie, but he was a living, breathing saint of God who cared deeply about the people in his area of influence. St. Diadochos was a bishop in Northern Greece, a place called Photiki. His main concerns were that people understood the importance of the sacraments (baptism and Holy Communion) and prayer. It is obvious that what he desired for his people were for them to make great strides in their relationship with God. He cared about growth, but in quality, not quantity. I hope that the passage below is more helpful than me attempting to teach it. There will be very little commentary afterwards, so pay attention to its meaning and search for yourself what a good disciplined observance of the Christian life can mean for you from this teaching.
Self-control is common to all the virtues, and therefore whoever practises self-control must do so in all things. If any part, however small, of a person’s body is removed, the whole person is disfigured; likewise, they who disregard one single virtue destroys unwittingly the whole harmonious order of self-control. It is therefore necessary to cultivate not only the bodily virtues, but also those which have the power to purify our inner person. What is the good of a person keeping the virginity of their body if they let their soul commit adultery with the demon of disobedience? Or what is the good of a person controlling gluttony and their other bodily desires if they make no effort to avoid vanity and self-esteem [pride], and does not endure with patience even the slightest affliction? At the judgment what crown will they deserve, when a just reward is given only to those who have accomplished works of righteousness in a spirit of humility? ???On Spiritual Knowledge, ??42
The take-away from me is this: balance out your life with a disciplined approached. Through grace, let each area of your life slowly rise so that God is glorified in all areas. The evil one desires to find a weak link, but if we give great attention to each area, slowly and with great patience, we hold that chain together for God’s glory.
Be blessed today and remember that self-control exists in every area of life and interaction.
Rev. Whit R. Martin
Pastor, New Liberty United Methodist Church
Devotional Blog ??? devoblog.posterous.com