If it happens that I show longsuffering in some matter, my thought becomes high-minded; how should I be thinking about this?
When you happen to do something good, you should know that this is a gift of God, given to you by God’s goodness; for God has mercy on all. But pay heed to yourself, lest in your weakness you lose the mercy revealed in you by Him, which is extended to all sinners also. That which is given you by the Lord for good, do not lose in evil; and this gift is lost when you praise yourself as one who is longsuffering and forget God, your Benefactor. Besides this, you draw also judgment upon yourself as soon as you presume to ascribe to yourself that for which you should send up thanksgiving to God the Lover of mankind. The Apostle says: What do you have that you have not received? And if you have received it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Cor. 4:7).
To the thought that praises you for anything, say: “Those who travel on the sea, even during time of a calm do not forget that they are still on the deep, but they always expect storms, dangers, and drowning; and the short time of calm that happens to come brings them no full benefit, because they consider themselves out of danger only when they come to harbor. And it has also happened with many that their ship has drowned them at the very entrance to the harbor. So also a sinner, while he remains in this world, should be always afraid of drowning.” And so never be deceived into believing the thought that praises you for a good deed. Everything good is of God, and because of our negligence we cannot guarantee ourselves that it will remain with us. And how, after this, can we presume to be high-minded?