Good in itself


Helping a person in need is good in itself.

But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may receive your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver.


-St. John Chrysostom (Emphases added)

St. John Chrysostom, along with St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory the Theologian, is a patron of the St. Vladimir’s Seminary Three Hierarchs Chapel. May he always intercede for us.

Author: Synaxis

Synaxis is a blog of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

2 thoughts on “Good in itself”

  1. “Hugely affected” is probably not the happiest translation of whatever St. John Chrysostomos wrote. After all, it was not for nothing that he was given the epithet “Golden-mouth”; his oratorical talents must have been most impressive.

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