Being taken advantage of by others
(Hermitage of Mary in the Wilderness, March 8th, 2016)
Recently, a beloved Sister asked a question about “being taken advantage of” by another person. I will not detail the question; but only say this – this is a common experience for just about everyone – it is the common occurrence. I recall the passage form St. Paul to the Church at Corinth (a Church that was pretty good at taking advantage of one another through sinful practices).
We know this:
“No temptation has taken you but such as is according to man’s nature; and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able [to bear], but will with the temptation make the issue also, so that [ye] should be able to bear [it]. Wherefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.” (I Corinthians 10: 13, 14)
You see, dear soul; it is idolatry that is at the root of this “being taken advantage of by others” – for when we “worship” the self – we are a world that worships at the “altar” of “selfies” – and we do not stop there – we see that whatever is in our best interest FAR MORE IMPORTANT that what God wants or says about anything!
Am I too strong and harsh? I don’t think so dear soul – we ALL LOOK OUT FOR OUR OWN SELF-INTEREST OVER THE WELFARE OF OTHERS.
Get this right, because it is pivotal spiritually for each of us.
I know this because of what Isaiah the prophet said that resulted in the Cross for the Lamb of God.
“…He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, but he opened not his mouth; he was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and was as a sheep dumb before her shearers, and he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53: 5-7)
Dear soul, you and I are not alone in this being: “taken advantage of by others.” The world is filled with “takers” and “users” – “deceivers” and “players with feelings”; “abusers” – in fact the Lord speaks of these in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 22, verses 11 through 15; now listen:
“Let him that does unrighteously do unrighteously still; and let the filthy make himself filthy still; and let him that is righteous practice righteousness still; and he that is holy, let him be sanctified still. Behold, I come quickly, and my reward with me, to render to every one as his work shall be. *I* [am] the Alpha and the Omega, [the] first and [the] last, the beginning and the end. Blessed [are] they that wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life, and that they should go in by the gates into the city. Without [are] the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loves and makes a lie.”
LIES that are LOVED are so, because the lovers of lies are those who USE OTHERS – “taking advantage of other people” – because of some advantage.
Finally, listen to St. Jude 14-21; it has the answer for the Solution, and us; if we apply the Solution to our Life and follow our Answer, Christ Jesus:
“And Enoch, [the] seventh from Adam, prophesied also as to these, saying, Behold, [the] Lord has come amidst his holy myriads, to execute judgment against all; and to convict all the ungodly of them of all their works of ungodliness, which they have wrought ungodlily, and of all the hard [things] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their lusts; and their mouth speaks swelling words, admiring persons for the sake of profit. But *ye*, beloved, remember the words spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they said to you, that at [the] end of the time there should be mockers, walking after their own lusts of ungodlinesses. These are they who set [themselves] apart, natural [men], not having [the] Spirit. But *ye*, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the Love of God, awaiting the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
Do you see what we speak of here?
This is all about:
WHO WE FOLLOW – and WHO IS WORKING THROUGH OUR LIFE HIS SALVATION!
Again, let us all read and ponder: Psalm 1 – the description of Godly souls and ungodly souls – the question is who are we going to BE and BECOME in and through Jesus?
The desert fathers wrote of this:
A brother who followed the life of stillness in the monastery of the cave of Abba Saba came to Abba Elias and said to him, Abba, give me a way of life.’ The old man said to the brother, ‘In the days of our predecessors they took great care about these three virtues: poverty, obedience and fasting. But among monks nowadays avarice, self-confidence and great greed have taken charge. Choose whichever you want most.’
How will you and I choose?
Abba Anthony the repentant sinner