Do not be afraid of sin, be afraid of not repenting.
Sayings of St Isaac the Syrian and poor emulators of him.
Here is a saying from Saint Isaac to show my flock that I do not make this stuff up! I have been known to say *often *:
"Do not be afraid of sin, but be afraid of not repenting."
This means essentially the same thing as St Isaac's words.
We differ from the demons in that even though we can do evil and even fall into evil repeatedly, we can repent of this evil and change.
I have been called to task about my saying because some think that it minimizes sin. If we have the correct understanding of sin, the saying does not minimize it. Because of our frail nature and weak will, the things we commonly call sins are inevitable, because we live under the condition of sin – brokenness, disease and ignorance. Even though as we journey as strangers in a strange land we continue to sin, as we fight against these sins and struggle to despise them, a wonderful miracle occurs – we are cleansed of our sin. This is not just being forgiven, mind you, but to become incorrupt, pure, peaceful and holy.
The Lord made it clear many times that we must exercise our will to follow Him. We should fear our will turning towards sin more than sin itself. If we turn away from the Lord, at some point we will be completely lost. No man knows when this point occurs, when our heart become hardened like Pharoah's, therefore the prudent man fears that he will not repent more than that he will sin.
Priest Seraphim Holland 2011 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
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