“Those who feel the greatest need to rebuke others are probably the ones who ought to be doing it the least.”
Abba Poemen said, ‘If a man has sinned and denies it, saying: “I have not sinned,” do not reprimand him; for that will discourage him. But say to him, “Do not lose heart, brother, but be on guard in future,” and you will stir his soul to repentance.’
(Sayings of the Desert Fathers)
Have you noticed that often times when it is suggested that we should not judge our brothers or rebuke them publicly, there is a certain group of people who feel the need to defend the propriety and necessity of rebuking? But why do we rebuke? And can rebuking a brother harm us?
In this episode of my Internet Orthodoxy podcast, I take a look at some of these issues and why the Desert Fathers so strongly urged one another to focus on their own sins.