Reflection on a Saying of a Desert Christian: Abba Sarmatias

And Abba Sarmatias said: “I prefer a sinful person, who knows his faults and is humbled, over a self-complacent person of virtue.”

This Saying reminds me of some things Jesus said.  There’s the bit about the Pharisee and the Publican in Luke 18:9-14 and the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25: 1-13.

Jesus wants us to grasp that it is the Publican and the Five Wise Virgins who please God the most and I daresay most of us who call ourselves Christians like to think we are like the Publican and the Five Wise Virgins.

After mulling over these bits of the Gospels for a long time, I have come to the conclusion that Jesus is telling us to realize that we are more like the Pharisee and the Five Foolish Virgins.

Were we to realize and accept this, we would be much less complacent and much more humble.

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