IN HIS SHORT biographical sketch of the life of St. John Chrysostom, Philip Schaff writes of the young John's progress:
The quiet study of the Scriptures, the example of his pious mother, the acquaintance with Bishop Meletius, and the influence of his intimate friend Basil, who was of the same age and devoted to ascetic life, combined to produce a gradual change in his character.*
We can't choose our parents (and unfortunately for mine, parents cannot not choose their children). But if I am discouraged at my progress, I might ask which element is missing in my life:
1. The quiet study of the Scriptures;
2. a relationship with a godly pastor; and/or
3. a true, close friend who shares my goal?
*Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Series I, Vol. 9, p. 6