What torment we put ourselves through because of the value we place on the attitudes and opinions of others toward us.
- Realizing the effect of that grievous burden, we throw it off and are greatly relieved until a day comes when we find it had somehow grown on our backs once more to torment us, increasingly so. We must make a choice between praise of man and praise of God.
How sweet the deliverance from chains that bind
A man to many lords,
As peace and rest come to his soul
Which he has not known before!
The disquieted mind beleaguered with questions,
Bedraggled with doubt and confusion,
Struggles to know the answer at hand
Which seems to be but an illusion.
How fruitless the concentration on
Opinions of other people!
How taxing the consternation
About all their thoughts and actions!
To the extent one values their words
And seeks to be praised of men,
To this extent are they his lords
And idols are they within.
Seek not to prove that the wrong are wrong;
Seek not to prove you are right,
But speak the truth both gently and wisely
And leave it without a fight.
Fear no man but fear only God,
For once all is said and done,
To God will we answer
And He is the Judge
Of all things under the sun.
All things that are hidden
Will come to the light
In due time, whether good or bad,
And when His plan is fully complete,
Then all will receive praise of God.
Dauphin, 1978, 79
Things are seldom as they appear – if ever. This is because two factors obscure the reality. Firstly, the object of the observation seldom conducts itself outwardly as it really is within or behind the scenes. Secondly, the ability on the part of the observer is limited at most times so that he is not able to see as he ought to. And woe to the one who tries to acquire that which he desires by trying to give the appearance of either getting it or already having it. Truth in the inward parts is not only the desired end but the means to that end. “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Child of fullness and plenty, have you any idea How empty you may be? Your stomach is filled With emptiness. You laugh Your laugh is hollow. Child of laughter and merriment have you any idea How sad you are? Your heart has a notion Of sorrow on the way. You scoff; You scoff at you know not what. Child of scorn and scoffing, have you any idea How the arrows you shoot reverse? Your own conscience tells you Of condemnation imminent. You despise That which you do not understand. Child of pride and knowledge, do you have any idea Of your ignorance and foolishness? You know it all But not as well as you are known. You pray For mercy – you have none. Child of prayer and fasting, have you any idea How full you will yet be? You are now empty On the way to fullness. You cry; Your tears are not in vain. Child of weeping and sorrow, have you any idea How happy you...
The unknown brings fear to some. To others there comes a sense of excitement and adventure, especially if they believe that all will be well in the end.
They speak for themselves. Naivete says: "All that men say is true, or at least most of what they say is true." "All their facial expressions tell their true feelings." "Most people in everyday common affairs have no reason to lie or to be deceitful." "People conduct themselves as normal beings always or almost always. One can usually take them at face value." Naivete has never met Discretion - never heard of her. But Naivete has a sister: Pride says: "The friendship of people towards me comes out of their admiration for me." (sometimes true) "People see something special in me even if they can't put a finger on it. If they don't, they ought to." "People respect me because I am something special." "All centers on me...all." "All things said and done toward me to my dislike are offensive, wrong and unjustified." "Don't rebuke me; don't rail on and on. It's only your ignorance and bad attitude. I don't want to hear it." "I have spoken. Let all men fall down and worship." "World, watch the grace, see the grace that issues from my precious lips." "I'm sure glad I'M right." Blindness is the brother of Naivete and Pride. Blindness says: "I see me; I see what I do; I see what I see and what I say; there is nothing else." "I don't see the circumstances, their elements, their noteworthiness. With the help of my sisters, I only believe the flatteries people speak to me, of me." Destruction, the child of Pride and Blindness (a marriage of incest) says:...