Palladius of Galatia tells us what he heard from two wise desert monks. No matter how good, intelligent, or reasonable what someone tells you seems, be wary if his life doesn’t match his words.
And those men told us this too:
“When you see a man irregular in his life but plausible in speech, remember the demon who conversed with Christ using the words of Scripture, and the witness that says, ‘Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts on the earth’ (see Genesis 3:1). In his case intelligence has resulted in more harm, since no other virtue accompanied it.
“The faithful and good man must think the thoughts which God gives and say what he thinks and do what he says. For if the relationships of a man’s life do not match the truth of his words, he is, as Job says, like food without salt, which will in no case be eaten, or, if eaten, will make those who eat it ill. ‘Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt?’ he says (Job 6:6). And is there any taste in vain words, which are not fulfilled by the witness of the works?”
–Palladius of Galatia, Lausiac History, 47:13-14
Where in my life is what I do farthest from what I say I believe?
What am I doing to close the gap?
Father, strengthen me by your Spirit, so that I may advance in the way of love and salvation.
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