56 One Should Not Praise Himself
St. Archdeacon Habib Guirguis
The one who boasts by his good work and accepts praise for it, without mentioning his ‘falling short of’, is like the one who bleeds his oxygenated blood, and keeps for himself the de-oxygenated blood. O, you who praise yourself to give glory to yourself, do you think by showing off your works, people will love you more? I have news for you: they will belittle you and probably despise you, for you glorify yourself. If they consider you sane and well, they will definitely regard you as immature and insecure. So, hide your virtues and cover all your Good-Samaritan works, and do not let your tongue utter one hint to show that you are better than others, so you won’t boast over God and people, as “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying; ‘God be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 8:11-14).
“Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man… Who can say: I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:6, 9).
“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man’, and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’. Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:8-11).
“Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king, and do not stand in the place of great men; for it is better that he say to you, ‘Come up here,’ than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes have seen” (Proverbs 25:6,7).
“A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).