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Cooperation as a Model for Faith/Life

BryanS

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I've recently become convinced that an important aspect to a healthy life (spiritually, mentally, physically) is to recognize the differences between control and cooperation. For example, a farmer has very little direct control over his harvest. A farmer who expects to be in control is going to be a very disappointed farmer. Rather, he must learn to cooperate with the forces of nature in order to receive a bountiful harvest. Someone who wants to get in shape can't just go out and run marathons; they have to cooperate with their body's limitations, their schedule, etc. Likewise, Christians who try to control God are going to be disappointed by the "God" they've imagined. Rather, like the farmer, we need to cooperate with God to receive our spiritual "harvest".

I know I have heard the idea of cooperation with God spoken of in Orthodox circles. Are there any fathers who expound on this, or from which there are writings in this vein?
 

Gentleman

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Bryan Paul said:
I know I have heard the idea of cooperation with God spoken of in Orthodox circles. Are there any fathers who expound on this, or from which there are writings in this vein?
It's called synergy. 

"A man by himself working and toiling at freedom from sinful desires achieves nothing. But if he plainly shows himself to be very eager and earnest about this, he attains it by the addition of the power of God. God works together with willing souls. But if the person abandons his eagerness, the spirit from God is also restrained. To save the unwilling is the act of one using compulsion; but to save the willing, that of one showing grace. 190 AD St. Clement of Alexandria Salvation of the Rich Man chap. 21)"

Read more quotes here http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/synergy.html
 

Twenty Nine

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Stoicism.

St. Paul was heavily influenced by the Stoics. You can see a great deal of Stoic principles in his Epistles.
 

WPM

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I've decided once I become Orthodox, … I'm going to stick with it.
 
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