How can we tell if someone is genuinely motivated or have their own agenda?

29th August, 2021

This is a Sunday sermon given by His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa on the day that we commemorate the memory of the beheading of Saint John the Forerunner.

“Today, our Church celebrates the Beheading of the glorious prophet and Forerunner of Christ, St John. And the same way that it happens with every Saint, we can see that St John was free of anxiety […], although he was even telling off rulers and people who were doing the wrong thing. But there was no anxiety inside of him. Because whatever he was doing, he was doing it out of love for Christ and God.

So, when we love God, even when we are in difficult situations, […] there is no anxiety inside us because we know why we do what we do, and at the end of the day we know that we are in God’s hands and nothing could ever hurt us. Even the hair on our head is counted. So, there is nothing to worry about. But how can we tell if someone’s actions are genuine or self-centred? How can we tell […] if his motive is selfish or if he has his own agenda? How can we tell if he was moved from God or from himself? So, when St John realised that Christ was the Messiah, he told his disciples, forget about me, just follow Christ. And they did.

If you want to see if someone is genuine, try to remove his authority. Try to take away something that belongs to him, something that he loves. He will react in a way that you won’t know where to stand. But if someone is genuine, even if you take away everything from him, it doesn’t make any difference. Because the focus of this person is Christ, not Christ’s gifts. And this is how we understand if someone is moved by love and is genuine, and if someone has his own agenda. Christians should never have their own agendas. Christians should follow Christ with all their heart, all their mind, and all their strength; the same way that St John did. And when he gave his life, he said to Christ ‘it’s yours, take it and that’s it’.”


29th August, 2021

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