Rulers who respect reputation rather than truth have as much power as brigands in a desert.
There are many tables to eat at in life. There is the table of public opinion. The food is sweet, but it sours in the stomach. There is the table of personal achievement. That’s a power meal for sure, yet the crash is as rapid as the ascent. There’s only one table with rich food that settles well and brings supernatural strength; it’s the table of God’s will.
The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.
The fear of the Lord means being more impressed with God’s reactions to our actions than with other people’s reactions.
Do not be angry about what people say; let them talk, while you try to do God’s will.
If you please man and never please God you have nothing; If you please God and man forsakes you, you have everything.
One of the tragic implications of this event (Adam’s rebellion) is that man lost his secure status with God and began to struggle with feelings of arrogance, inadequacy, and despair, valuing the opinion of others more than the truth of God. This has robbed man of his true self-worth and has put him on a continual, but fruitless, search for significance through his success and the approval of others.
The temptation to disconnect from that deep place in you where God dwells and to let yourself be drowned in the praise or the blame of the world always remains.
If you have the smile of God what does it matter if you have the frown of men.
It is my exhortation…to all Christians to maintain their Christian freedom by constant watchfulness. You must not be tempted or threatened out of it; you must not be bribed or frightened from it; you must not let ither force or fraud rob you of it…We must not give up ourselves to the opinion of other men, though they be never so learned, never so holy, merely because it is their opinion. Scripture directs us to try all things and to hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21). It often happens that a high esteem of others in respect of their learning and piety makes men take up all upon trust from such, and to submit their judgments to their opinions, and their consciences to their precepts. This should not be so.