>   books  >   en  >   pope-shenouda-iii  >   ten-concepts  >   books  >   en  >   pope-shenouda-iii  >   ten-concepts

Christian Library | Full Free Coptic Books | Orthodox Library

Ten Concepts, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

63- Truth lost


Truth is opposed to hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is against reality because it involves falsehood and the interior is different from the exterior. Therefore the Lord Christ reprimanded the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites because they were like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27).

The hypocrite shows himself to be something different from what he really is.

Flattery also is against truth:

Flattery is praising another person insincerely to please him or to defend him whereas the fact is different and what the flatterer thinks or feels in his heart is the opposite of what he says.

The truth is also lost under the pretext of courtesy or (love). Image: Petals of a rose in the shape of hearts, over a book.  صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أوراق زهرة (بتلات) على شكل قلوب، فوق كتاب. Image: Petals of a rose in the shape of hearts, over a book.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أوراق زهرة (بتلات) على شكل قلوب، فوق كتاب.

Or rather under the name of false love, as when a person pretends that he is a friend to someone and leads him to ruin or encourages him to do something wrong. His insincere encouragement may cause his friend to continue doing wrong. Under the pretense of love -which is false love- he ruins his friend completely.

There is also a mother who -thinking that she loves her son- spoils him. Her love is not true love.

Also a youth may pretend that he loves a girl while his relation with her is mere lust without love. Under the pretext of love he may spoil her reputation and ruin her life. This is not love in its true meaning since it has no principles.

Here we mention also those who falsely defend people who do wrong, as we have discussed this issue before here on in other sections. They forget the words of the Scriptures: "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord" (Prov. 17:15).

The reason is that both of these work against the truth. Some may not like the expression "condemns the just" and think it unfair. But in fact people often disregard one's faults and consider him innocent, feeling some sort of compassion and mercy, even though they work against truth. If this person's compassion was sincere, it would have lead the sinner to repentance.

On the other hand justifying the wicked will not make him realize his fault, and therefore he will continue in his way without repentance and hence the person who justified him would have done him harm.

However, someone may justify a wicked person out of ignorance.

Yet he is also an abomination to the Lord. My advice to such a person is: Defend the truth instead of defending persons.

If you defend someone, you may be deviating from the truth.

In order to defend the truth, you ought to know it. Many people do not have such knowledge and may follow rumours or take knowledge from people who do not have the true knowledge.

Some may claim that they are defending the truth whereas they are in fact far from it.

Another person may defend the truth -or what he thinks is the truth- in a way so far from the truth.

He may go beyond what he is allowed to say or defame someone, condemn him, cause harm and hurt the feelings of others, or spread false information. In this case he would have done so much wrong against others and committed sin that God will condemn him.

He may argue that he is defending the truth even though it is in an illegitimate way!

Therefore, if you want to hold on to the truth, ignore rumours and do not trust every statement you hear. Remember also that who is against the truth is against God Himself, and the reason is that :

God is Truth, absolute Truth.