HOW TO RESPOND TO SLANDER

"When you are slandered, and therefore grow disturbed and sick at heart, it shows that pride is in you, and that it must be wounded and driven out by outward dishonor.

Therefore do not be irritated by derision, and do not bear malice against those who hate you and slander you, but love them as your physicians, whom God has sent you to instruct you and to teach you humility, and pray to God for them.

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you." Say to yourself, "It is not me that they slander, but my evil passions; not me that they strike, but that viper which nestles in my heart, and smarts when anybody speaks ill of it.

I will comfort myself with the thought that, perhaps, these good people will drive it from my heart by their caustic words, and my heart will then cease to ache." Therefore, thank God for outward dishonor: those who endure dishonor here will not be subjected to it in the next world."


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St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas