Gregory of Nazianzus: Engage in the work of your salvation

“How absurd it would be to grasp at money and throw away health; and to be lavish of the cleansing of the body, but economical over the cleansing of the soul; and to seek for freedom from earthly slavery, but not to care about heavenly freedom; and to make every effort to be splendidly housed and dressed, but to have never a thought how you yourself may become really very precious …

Sow in good season, and gather together, and open thy barns when it is the time to do so; and plant in season, and let the clusters be cut when they are ripe, and launch boldly in spring, and draw thy ship on shore again at the beginning of winter, when the sea begins to rage … if you will follow Solomon’s advice. And it is best to do so, for the advice is profitable. But the work of your salvation is one upon which you should be engaged at all time …
Gregory of Nazianzus (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople in Oration XL.XIII-XIV “The Oration of Holy Baptism” preached at Constantinople on 6 January 381.

The world will want you to focus on everything earthly: Don’t do it. Don’t be distracted. Keep your focus on God and your engagement with the work of your salvation and let the rest take care of itself. These words represent advice I am still learning in adulthood (so I am a slow learner in some areas). Anyway, do this and you will shine for Jesus!

Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world. (Philippians 2:12-15)

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