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Author Topic: How To Live?  (Read 1211 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« on: August 27, 2012, 12:16:05 PM »

Hey everyone. Haven't been on in a while and haven't really been practicing my faith (almost gave up on it yesterday). I haven't been to church since January or February, and I still am not chrismated. Two months ago I broke up with my girlfriend that I began dating in April and it sent me into serious depression (more severe than ever) and I've pretty much just been trying to smoke (pot) and drink the pain away. There's been a lot of tension in my family over this, even almost getting kicked out of the house for smoking pot. The sadness I had when my relationship ended has turned more into anger.

Something I want to know is how is a Christian supposed to act/live like, especially in these days?


What should we wear, eat, drink, read, watch, do in our free time, etc? And what of my personal situation? I work at a lumberyard. Just imagine the workers here. How can I live a Christian life while being among this kind? The only way to get along with them is to act like them. I remember when I first started the job in January I was quiet and everyone hated that I was trying to be humble. Now I'm still pretty quiet but I've come out of my shell more and I talk nonesense with them, curse like a sailer like them (though, I did so anyway before and sometimes while I was still trying to practice the faith), smoke pot with one of them, and my home life pretty much consists of me getting high, smoking tons of cigarettes, being angry or sad, watching tv, watching movies, and listening to music (Eminem, Nirvana, Metallica, Dr Dre).
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 12:21:07 PM by TristanCross » Logged

"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 12:41:47 PM »

First of all, I am really sorry to hear about your suffering!

Read the The Scriptures, the lives of saints on how to live. Try to derive hope and strength from them
and know that God is there with you, understanding you and taking you through all the things in life: good and bad.

Obviously, what you've describing is not Christian life. But don't think of it so much in right&wrong, but in what is
truly good & profitable for you and your relationship with God. Don't depend so much on others, if they are in the way
of holiness. Be your own person and know that God is on your side if you have to stand up for what you believe and others disagree with you.

Try to go to Church, to find people who understand you and whom you feel are true models to follow. If you surround yourself with such people, then maybe slowly you will drift away from those who don't understand you or cause you trouble, or, at the very least, you'll become confident enough to stand your ground, and turn down bad behaviors or companionship.

It's a struggle, but never lose hope. If you fall, just get up and know that God never abandons you. All I can say is try to move in a positive direction.

I will pray for you!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 12:44:29 PM by IoanC » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 02:07:02 PM »

Get away from the weed at least & think about your respiratory health to avoid cigarettes; no religion in this scenario. Is it possible to just roll with things like current sports & some entertainment in common talk (to get along) while avoiding excesses? While trying not to judge anyone, are there any co-workers who are satisfied with more benign things? What about a casaull game of poker & a couple of beers? What about football Sundays without sliding into excess? If I was still young, I would want to still do some these things & it is natural to want to be sociable. As far as your faith, I hope you could  at least say the Lord's prayer at the start of your day & think about giving a few alms to charity when possible (like $25 to the Red Cross every few weeks for ex.) this can at least keep your faith alive & perhaps you could build from there.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 12:35:29 PM »

Quote
Two months ago I broke up with my girlfriend that I began dating in April and it sent me into serious depression (more severe than ever) and I've pretty much just been trying to smoke (pot) and drink the pain away.

Make sure that you're not looking for all your happiness to reside in a relationship.  You should be happy within yourself. A relationship should add to the happiness you already have.  Then a break-up won't be so devastating.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 01:17:18 PM »

See my PM to you...  Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 05:29:24 PM »

Thank you all for your advice

Get away from the weed at least & think about your respiratory health to avoid cigarettes; no religion in this scenario. Is it possible to just roll with things like current sports & some entertainment in common talk (to get along) while avoiding excesses? While trying not to judge anyone, are there any co-workers who are satisfied with more benign things? What about a casaull game of poker & a couple of beers? What about football Sundays without sliding into excess? If I was still young, I would want to still do some these things & it is natural to want to be sociable. As far as your faith, I hope you could  at least say the Lord's prayer at the start of your day & think about giving a few alms to charity when possible (like $25 to the Red Cross every few weeks for ex.) this can at least keep your faith alive & perhaps you could build from there.

Nope...pretty much all the guys at work (and there aren't many workers...about 13) are dirtbags (not to be judgmental...I'm no one to judge. But that's just how the guys are there). One gets away with everything and anything, and is notorious for his anger problems and antics. I'm lucky to go one day without getting hit, pushed, etc. by him (he thinks its funny and does it as a joke but I find it annoying and it infuriates me). This guy will treat the boss like crap (swears at the boss) and the boss does nothing. My work environment is easily classified as hostile. Also, I'm only 19 so beer really isn't allowed at my age (never stopped me before. However I'm trying to follow Christ again so it's a no-no lol). There's only one other guy at my job who is around my age and he's into drinking and all that. Most of the others are around 25-50 years old.

I'm not really into sports. I'll watch occasionally and have my favorite teams, but don't go out of my way to follow.

I'm still looking for this to be addressed: "What should we wear, eat, drink, read, watch, do in our free time, etc?"
« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 05:31:16 PM by TristanCross » Logged

"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 08:02:51 PM »


Free time?  What is free time?

There's always something that needs doing around the house - the laundry, cleaning, cooking, washing....and there's always work outside - trees need to be cut, bushes trimmed, weeds pulled.  Not to mention getting ready for winter, sealing cracks, ...

IF there is spare time, remember to help others....perhaps parents, mom or dad need some company.  Sit and talk with them.  Perhaps old lonely neighbor needs a visit.  No?  Well, there must be a nursing home in the area with dozens of lonely people who would be so grateful if someone came to say HI to them.

TV.  Well, yes, there are some good shows....just don't watch smut.  Watch something from which you can learn something.  DYI shows are great!  Teach me how to fix the pipes under my sink.

Personally, if there's free time, there's nothing like visiting the neighborhood Barnes and Noble...soft music, soft chairs, and more books than you can possibly read.  Just love it!!!  Every time my car needs some work, I always go to the one garage that is next to the bookstore.....so, as they work on my car, I am on a mini vacation at the bookstore....because I can spend time there and not feel guilty for "wasting" time.  Smiley

Seriously, though....we are called to "serve" and not be served.  Therefore, look for ways to help others....anyone.  There's always people out there who need some kind of help, be it food, companionship, hooking up a TV, fixing a PC, or raking leaves.

Get yourself so busy helping others, there's not enough time in the day to smoke or drink or cuss.  You will come home exhausted and sleep like an angel.

...and don't forget to pray.  First thing in the morning.  The moment your feet hit the floor make the sign of the Cross.  Keep God with you all day.  Talk to Him.

Yes, our work environments can be caustic at times....it's up to us to try to change them, not to morph ourselves to fit them.  Don't alienate your coworkers but, don't imitate their bad habits.  Be strong, and perhaps by your example, they will shape up some.

My bishop always says "You may be the only Bible that person is reading today, so be sure you are open to the correct page for them."

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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 08:34:19 PM »

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Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 09:27:23 PM »


Free time?  What is free time?

There's always something that needs doing around the house - the laundry, cleaning, cooking, washing....and there's always work outside - trees need to be cut, bushes trimmed, weeds pulled.  Not to mention getting ready for winter, sealing cracks, ...

IF there is spare time, remember to help others....perhaps parents, mom or dad need some company.  Sit and talk with them.  Perhaps old lonely neighbor needs a visit.  No?  Well, there must be a nursing home in the area with dozens of lonely people who would be so grateful if someone came to say HI to them.

TV.  Well, yes, there are some good shows....just don't watch smut.  Watch something from which you can learn something.  DYI shows are great!  Teach me how to fix the pipes under my sink.

Personally, if there's free time, there's nothing like visiting the neighborhood Barnes and Noble...soft music, soft chairs, and more books than you can possibly read.  Just love it!!!  Every time my car needs some work, I always go to the one garage that is next to the bookstore.....so, as they work on my car, I am on a mini vacation at the bookstore....because I can spend time there and not feel guilty for "wasting" time.  Smiley

Seriously, though....we are called to "serve" and not be served.  Therefore, look for ways to help others....anyone.  There's always people out there who need some kind of help, be it food, companionship, hooking up a TV, fixing a PC, or raking leaves.

Get yourself so busy helping others, there's not enough time in the day to smoke or drink or cuss.  You will come home exhausted and sleep like an angel.

...and don't forget to pray.  First thing in the morning.  The moment your feet hit the floor make the sign of the Cross.  Keep God with you all day.  Talk to Him.

Yes, our work environments can be caustic at times....it's up to us to try to change them, not to morph ourselves to fit them.  Don't alienate your coworkers but, don't imitate their bad habits.  Be strong, and perhaps by your example, they will shape up some.

My bishop always says "You may be the only Bible that person is reading today, so be sure you are open to the correct page for them."



Is your name really John and were my first AA sponsor?

It was pretty close to Detroit.

AA, what you said, and the nice blend of Moritan "therapy" and Naikan by David Reynolds, and what amounts to common sense, and a buncha other stuff says that all should work with the forever caveat it is a profound psychological disorder.

Thanks Liza.

(But some free time is OK.)



« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 09:28:03 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 09:42:12 PM »

These are my favorite threads, no joke. TristanCross I have a personal question to ask you, but would first like you to give me permission to send it to you via PM. There's something you said that has piqued my interest. (I ask only cause some don't like to talk about their life...)

Anyway I think you made a thread similar to this, and I'm sorry you didn't make much progress since then. I'll add your name to the list of prayers I have going in my rule.

I'd share what worked for me, but it starts by going to Church regularly and slowly integrating Orthodox praxis. There was a time as an inquirer when I stopped going for a few months and I saw a negative impact on me.

Anyway, sorry Liza but considering I'm an introvert I need my free time and to be alone for long periods of time. It's just how I'm wired, not that I don't mind helping folks but I have some personal goals I'd like to accomplish. Maybe that's selfish, but I have take care of myself first and foremost.

Secondly, "You may be the only Bible that person is reading today, so be sure you are open to the correct page for them." What an interesting quote.
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 10:48:44 PM »


Free time?  What is free time?

There's always something that needs doing around the house - the laundry, cleaning, cooking, washing....and there's always work outside - trees need to be cut, bushes trimmed, weeds pulled.  Not to mention getting ready for winter, sealing cracks, ...

IF there is spare time, remember to help others....perhaps parents, mom or dad need some company.  Sit and talk with them.  Perhaps old lonely neighbor needs a visit.  No?  Well, there must be a nursing home in the area with dozens of lonely people who would be so grateful if someone came to say HI to them.

TV.  Well, yes, there are some good shows....just don't watch smut.  Watch something from which you can learn something.  DYI shows are great!  Teach me how to fix the pipes under my sink.

Personally, if there's free time, there's nothing like visiting the neighborhood Barnes and Noble...soft music, soft chairs, and more books than you can possibly read.  Just love it!!!  Every time my car needs some work, I always go to the one garage that is next to the bookstore.....so, as they work on my car, I am on a mini vacation at the bookstore....because I can spend time there and not feel guilty for "wasting" time.  Smiley

Seriously, though....we are called to "serve" and not be served.  Therefore, look for ways to help others....anyone.  There's always people out there who need some kind of help, be it food, companionship, hooking up a TV, fixing a PC, or raking leaves.

Get yourself so busy helping others, there's not enough time in the day to smoke or drink or cuss.  You will come home exhausted and sleep like an angel.

...and don't forget to pray.  First thing in the morning.  The moment your feet hit the floor make the sign of the Cross.  Keep God with you all day.  Talk to Him.

Yes, our work environments can be caustic at times....it's up to us to try to change them, not to morph ourselves to fit them.  Don't alienate your coworkers but, don't imitate their bad habits.  Be strong, and perhaps by your example, they will shape up some.

My bishop always says "You may be the only Bible that person is reading today, so be sure you are open to the correct page for them."



Is your name really John and were my first AA sponsor?

It was pretty close to Detroit.

AA, what you said, and the nice blend of Moritan "therapy" and Naikan by David Reynolds, and what amounts to common sense, and a buncha other stuff says that all should work with the forever caveat it is a profound psychological disorder.

Thanks Liza.

(But some free time is OK.)





@Orthonorm......I have no idea what you just said.

@Achronos....there's nothing wrong with free time.  I enjoy some down time, as well.  However, if a person finds that they are doing things they wish they weren't with their free time, then it's time to lessen that free time.

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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 11:19:48 PM »

I work in a manufacturing plant with plenty of rough-around-the-edges guys, so I feel your pain with that one. It's a tough think not to partake of the same manner of conversation.

It's good not to dress provocatively or to wear things that are blasphemous. Other than that, you have to wear what you have to wear at work.

No food is unclean of itself, so it's good to give thanks for the food that we do and not give it too much more thought beyond that.

Cigarettes and marijuana certainly are not healthy, and it's good in the long run when we do things that are healthy. But what defiles us is not what we put into ourselves, but what comes out of our hearts. It would most likely be good to quit smoking altogether (tobacco and marijuana), but I wouldn't let that get in the way of praying.

It's hard to go from doing fruitless and entertaining things in our free time to doing only beneficial and profitable things in our free time. So we can do the little that we can do, and ask for God's help. We can pray when we remember. We can be thankful when we remember. We can be kind when we remember. We can ask for God's mercy when we remember. Over time we'll remember these things more often.
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 11:41:52 PM »

Hey, just thought I'd catch you guys up in things. I've fallen back into smoking pot after quitting for a few weeks (started back up about a week or two). When I gave it up, I began to realize the truth that all things are vain if they are not done for Christ. I was doing alright, but got a little carried away as usual and started praying the morning and evening prayers in my Jordanville Prayer Book, got rid of things that I thought were un-Orthodox (certain Protestant Bibles and such), began wearing my kombiskini on my wrist, prayer the Jesus prayer at night, quit the band I was in because I thought it was a bad un-Christian influence, and was trying hard to push myself closer to God. I also had a few bouts with my spiritual Father over things like music, marriage, and toll houses (and almost gave up Orthodoxy because of these issues out of stupidity). But despite my efforts, I have backslided again. I need prayer. I am constantly studying the faith and trying to grow in it, but it simply is all intellecual and not in practice. I had a meeting with the priest of the OCA church I used to attend, but dropped out last minute through email because the priest wouldn't answer his phone. I cancelled was because I needed to get my weed from my work buddy after work (which didn't interfere with time constraints) and when I got there his roommate needed me to bring him to work. So I brought him to his job after telling the priest I had to cancel, and when I got back to my work buddy's place we just ended up playing video games and smoking weed. Here's what my priest ended up telling me after I cancelled:

"Glad I checked emails -/ was waiting for you and I set up day with our appointment in mind. My wife also needed a ride which I had a friend assist her with since I had committed to you. Clearly, our priorities are at odds. At this point I don't think we need to meet, you are welcome to attend church when you can."

I ended up getting mad at the priest and simply replied:

"Judging from your tone, I don't think that's a good idea."

Yeah...I'm pretty stupid. I get angry a lot (at least lately) and I almost lost it and wanted to tell him off. That was the nicest way I could have put it in my anger. But either way, I'm the moron of the situation. But since I emailed him that, I really can't go back to that church. So I will be going to a Russian church where the proest barely knows English...

Sometimes I do stupid things...lately, I am just plain stupid.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 09:54:54 AM »

You seem to be trying to hard in one extreme & then having a severe setback. Please get away from the weed (!!!!), you are young & it is ok to have some fun & have a beer. Think about the horrible criminal elements that supply drugs & to use them helps perpetuate this activity. Don't bash yourself over the head about, just realize, move on, & pity others who are duped by it. Just try to live a simple faith for now; say the Lord's prayer daily in faith, give to charity where possible, & think about the command to love God & neighbor & the golden rule. Just my 2 cents of pitiful suggestions.
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 10:01:33 AM »

..I'm pretty stupid. I get angry a lot (at least lately) and I almost lost it and wanted to tell him off...Sometimes I do stupid things...lately, I am just plain stupid.

Not stupid, exactly. Just making bad choices - which we all do. Something to consider is that your anger and poor choices may be caused or exacerbated by your addiction?
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 09:15:41 PM »

I'm honestly thinking about giving up for now. I'll continue studying the faith, but considering the fact that I keep falling into the same things and don't change due to my immaturity, laziness, and age, I don't think it's even worth trying anymore. It's obvious that I won't change even though I'd like to and so there's no point in trying to be something I'm not. Pray for me, please.
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2012, 11:14:41 PM »

I'm honestly thinking about giving up for now. I'll continue studying the faith, but considering the fact that I keep falling into the same things and don't change due to my immaturity, laziness, and age, I don't think it's even worth trying anymore. It's obvious that I won't change even though I'd like to and so there's no point in trying to be something I'm not. Pray for me, please.
Sometimes we don't change as much as God changes us. Focus on what you are moving toward and your time may be easier.

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 10:51:45 AM »

I'm honestly thinking about giving up for now. I'll continue studying the faith, but considering the fact that I keep falling into the same things and don't change due to my immaturity, laziness, and age, I don't think it's even worth trying anymore. It's obvious that I won't change even though I'd like to and so there's no point in trying to be something I'm not. Pray for me, please.

All of us confess the same sins over and over. That's the way it is - because these sins/behaviors are deeply rooted.
But giving up and saying it's obvious that you won't change is a cop-out.
Right now, you are something you are not - the real you is not an immature, lazy, pot-smoking loser.
The good news, the truly amazing stupendous news, is that, with God's help and with our own effort and prayer, and the support of fellow Christians,we can change - that is the message of our faith. God did not create us to be lazy, sinful substance abusers. He created us in His image, to enjoy abundant life with Him.
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 11:18:35 AM »

How can you live a life for God in a world of sin? I find it especialy difficult considering the fact that I work in a lumberyard where anything can and will be said. I can not escape it. My job fuels my anger and sins more than anything. Yet it is the only place willing to give me as much money as I'm making. It's easy to live the Christian life when I am alone or if I'm in a church, but not so when I am actually around people (especially people who love their sins).
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 11:33:28 AM »

How can you live a life for God in a world of sin? I find it especialy difficult considering the fact that I work in a lumberyard where anything can and will be said. I can not escape it. My job fuels my anger and sins more than anything. Yet it is the only place willing to give me as much money as I'm making. It's easy to live the Christian life when I am alone or if I'm in a church, but not so when I am actually around people (especially people who love their sins).

You do your best, you fail, you pick yourself up go to confession and start again. Eventually it gets easier but it's certainly never easy and the one thing you absolutely do not want to do is give up and stop trying. Keep going to Church, keep talking to the priest (and to be honest, don't avoid going back to the priest you wrote the email to - just apologise and get on with it). My job fuels my sins too (or rather its just easier to go with the flow and join in with the gossip or go out to the pub on a Friday lunch time, than it is to stand out by saying no). I work in an office but it's almost entirely male (IT) and I assure you that as the only Orthodox Christian there it is hard - believe me it's not just in lumberyards where anything will be said. The thing is if you try to do it alone you're setting yourself up to fail. We work out our salvation as a community, not alone and the more you immerse yourself in the Church when you are able the easier it is to resist the temptation to sin when you're out in the world.

James
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We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2012, 02:04:30 PM »

How can you live a life for God in a world of sin? I find it especialy difficult considering the fact that I work in a lumberyard where anything can and will be said. I can not escape it. My job fuels my anger and sins more than anything. Yet it is the only place willing to give me as much money as I'm making. It's easy to live the Christian life when I am alone or if I'm in a church, but not so when I am actually around people (especially people who love their sins).

You do your best, you fail, you pick yourself up go to confession and start again. Eventually it gets easier but it's certainly never easy and the one thing you absolutely do not want to do is give up and stop trying. Keep going to Church, keep talking to the priest (and to be honest, don't avoid going back to the priest you wrote the email to - just apologise and get on with it). My job fuels my sins too (or rather its just easier to go with the flow and join in with the gossip or go out to the pub on a Friday lunch time, than it is to stand out by saying no). I work in an office but it's almost entirely male (IT) and I assure you that as the only Orthodox Christian there it is hard - believe me it's not just in lumberyards where anything will be said. The thing is if you try to do it alone you're setting yourself up to fail. We work out our salvation as a community, not alone and the more you immerse yourself in the Church when you are able the easier it is to resist the temptation to sin when you're out in the world.

James



I work for a Christian organization - not to disillusion you or anything, but we don't exactly sit around being Christian to one another all day long! There is gossip and jealousy and anger here too.

For me personally, even attempting to live a life devoted to God in a world of sin is because sin causes pain and unhappiness and ultimately death. One of the reasons that I came (back) to the Church was because I just didn't want to hurt that much and be that unhappy all the time. I knew deep down that there had to be more to life than that - or what was the point?
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2012, 02:07:26 PM »

Jmbejdl,

I see what you are saying.

Since I am not actually Orthodox yet, I can not go to confession. I'm pretty much trying to do all this outside of the church life (haven't been to church since early this year). The thing about working out our salvation as a community...that is a difficulty for me. I used to have social phobia (rarely get anxious about anything social now) and I hate people in general. I do not fit in well with others, never have, and never will. I'm not a normal person in any sense. I am not good at conversation unless I really have a topic I know and can talk about. I hated when I went to church and Liturgy ended because that meant the agape meal was coming up. I either say alone, with annoying old people, or just left (my preferred choice)...
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2012, 10:28:39 PM »

My friend, you asked how to live as a Christian in these times and circumstances. Honestly, no differently than Christians have lived since the beginning--by loving God and their neighbors. When we love, we order our priorities correctly. Love sees the value even in difficult people. Love opposes temptations with grace that does not alienate persons even as it distances from evil actions.

What feeds Christian love? Prayer, good thoughts, sacrifice, humility, repentance, patience, virtue.

No person is totally evil, some may just be affected by greater degrees. But, as much as it depends on you, live peacably with everyone. Find out and focus on the good traits of others. Be the person who unconsciously brings those out. Don't force anything. Live simply.

God be with you!
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