The Following of Christ
Dear children, trust firmly in the Lord with all your heart, and fear not the judgements of men, if your conscience declares you innocent.
It is good for you to bear with this, and not at all difficult for a humble heart that trusts in God rather than in himself.
It is impossible to satisfy everybody.
Paul the Apostle endeavoured to please everybody in the Lord, and “became all things to all men,” yet he considered it a very small thing to be judged by human justice. He laboured much for the salvation of men, as much as lay in his power. Yet this did not save him from being judged, and sometimes despised by others.
For this reason he committed everything to God who knows all things, and with patience and humility he shielded himself from his enemies that spoke evil or thought vain and false things about him.
Only when it became absolutely necessary did Paul answer them, so the weak might not be confused by his silence.
Who are you that you should be afraid of a mortal man? Today he is and tomorrow he is not to be found.
Fear God and you shall not be frightened by the terrors of men.
What harm can anyone do to you with words and injuries? He does more harm to himself than to you, and whoever he may be, he cannot escape the judgement of God.
Have God before your eyes and contend not in quarrelsome words (2 Tim. 2:14).
Should you be overcome and suffer disgrace that you have not deserved, do not make a big scene of it, lest Jesus remove your crown for your impatience. Just keep looking to him who can save you from every disgrace and injustice, and who will reward every man according to his works.
Geert Groote, 1340-1384, Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life, Deventer, Netherlands