Concerning the fact that we must keep away from those who harm us, even if they are friends or are otherwise quite indispensable.
1. Abba Agathon said: “Even if someone is extremely dear to me, but I know that he leads me into faults, I cut him loose from myself.”
2. An Elder said: “We must flee from all who work iniquity, even if they be friends or relatives and even if they hold the office of Priest or King; for standing apart from those who work iniquity bestows on us friendship with God and boldness before Him.”
3. The same Elder said: “It is not profitable for us to cling to transgressors, neither in Church, nor in the marketplace, nor in the council, nor in any other realm; rather, we must completely refrain from relations with them….
4. A brother asked an Elder: “If my brother scandalizes me, do you want me to make a prostration to him?” The Elder answered: “Make a prostration, but cut yourself off from him; for we have Abba Arsenios, who said: “have love for all men, but keep a distance from all men.'”
—The Evergetinos. Book One. Hypothesis 23.