If You Seek Publicity, Your Soul Is in Danger - Advice for TikTokers From a Russian Saint

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox
 

"If you indulge in seeking praises, even to a small degree, you are in a grave danger. Desire for praise invariably grows into a habit, and soon it gets engraved in your character. Then you will feel like not having enough praise ─ because far too often you will not deserve them ─ and as a substitute begin praising yourself."

From the writings of Theophan the Recluse, a popular 19th century Russian saint. He wrote best-selling books with spiritual advice which are still widely read in Russia today. For a collection of short excerpts from his works on this site, click here.

When the Lord raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead, “He charged [her parents] straightly that no man should know about it” [Mk. 5:43]. By that He has given us a rule of conduct: do not seek glory from men, do not train your ear on hearing praises, even if you do something worthy of praise.

Keep doing what your conscience and the fear of God dictate you to do ─ but remain deaf to what people say about it.  And watch carefully after your soul: if it gets tempted by someone else’s opinion, make sure to bring it to order.  A wish to make your achievements public is caused by a desire of praise from the people; however, as soon as you hear praises, you feel that your job is accomplished and lose energy and motivation for further work.  Therefore, if you seek publicity, you in fact shoot yourself in the foot.

When people give praises to something really good, they surely do a right thing ─ for such praises naturally come from a pure heart ─ but you should never pursue it when you do good.  If you indulge in seeking praises, even to a small degree, you are in a grave danger.  Desire for praise invariably grows into a habit, and soon it gets engraved in your character.  Then you will feel like not having enough praise ─ because far too often you will not deserve them ─ and as a substitute begin praising yourself.  The Lord has called it “trumpeting before yourself” [Mt. 6:2] in the manner of hypocrites: this is yet worse. 

Such a soul is petty, pursuing all sorts of trash, and no real good can be expected from it.




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