Of the Humble Estimation of Self

Every man naturally desires knowledge, but what will knowledge help him if he does not fear God?

A humble uneducated man that serves God is better than a proud philosopher who, neglecting his salvation, knows all about the solar system.

He who knows himself well feels his own unworthiness and shuns the praise of men.

If I knew everything in the world but had no love for others, what would that profit me before God who will judge me according to my deeds?

Give up your inordinate desire for knowledge, for it often brings you needless worries and deceives you.

Learned men are anxious to be held in great esteem and to be called wise. But there are many things we may know that are of no advantage to the salvation of the soul. He is very unwise who busies himself with anything except God and what will be of eternal value.  

Many words do not satisfy the soul, but a godly life comforts the heart and a pure conscience gives great confidence in God.

The more you know, the more severely you will be judged. For that reason you should not be puffed up because you have learned something. Even though you may know much, it is very little when compared to what you do not know.

Why do you wish to lift yourself above anyone else, seeing there are many who know a great deal more than you?

Should you wish to learn something to your profit, desire to be unknown and to be counted as nothing. That is the highest and most profound lesson—to know yourself like you really are, to hold a humble opinion of yourself, and to think less of yourself than you do of others.

Geert Groote, 1340-1384, Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, Deventer, Netherlands  

Leave a reply