I, Too, Am A Sinner

A story of a 4th Century Desert Father, Abba Bessarion.

A brother who had sinned was turned out of the church by the priest; Abba Bessarion got up and went with him saying, “I, too, am a sinner.”

How often do we look at other people and label them as sinners–perhaps even for things that are not a sin, just something we personally don’t like?

Yet, we are blind to ourselves, to our thoughts, to our actions.

Who among us has the strength and courage to follow this example of Father Bessarion and identify with the sinner?

We cannot even say, “But my sin is not as bad as that other person.” For, we must remember Paul’s argument in his letter to the Romans that all have sinned and fallen short. There is no relative scale. It is binary–sin or not sin. One human falls into the “not sin” category; all of the rest of us fall into the “sin” category.

Another saying of Abba Bessarion–do not compare yourself to others.

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