The Didache 11 – Flee From Every Evil Thing

This series is reflecting on the Didache if you want to read it separately.

My child, flee from every evil thing, and from every likeness of it. Be not prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Be neither jealous, nor quarrelsome, nor of hot temper, for out of all these murders are engendered. My child, be not a lustful one. for lust leads to fornication. Be neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye, for out of all these adulteries are engendered. My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leads to idolatry. Be neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to took at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered. My child, be not a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Be neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered. My child, be not a murmurer, since it leads the way to blasphemy. Be neither self-willed nor evil-minded, for out of all these blasphemies are engendered.

The Teaching continues with other “sins”. Notice how everything given here leads to graver sins: murder, fornication and adultery, idolatry, theft, or blasphemy. Does that mean that if you lie you will inevitably be a thief? No, of course not.

But this does explore and build upon the Sermon on the Mount. If you bring those behaviors into your life and beginning shaping yourself through them, then you are living on the way that leads to murder, to adultery, to theft, to idolatry, or to blaspemy. We never remain static. We can’t simply stay in one spot and tread water as human beings. Life is flowing constantly around us and we are moving toward becoming and being some type of human being. If you incorporate a pattern of telling untruth to others, you are shaping yourself into a dishonest person. At some point along that way, the dishonesty of theft will likely come to seem perfectly natural. That is so true that when you begin to adopt that way, in some sense you are already a thief.

The message is clear. These are markers of the way of death. If you perceive these within yourself, pray to break free from them so you can inhabit the way of  life instead.

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