From the Imitation of Christ
Having Confidence In God When Harsh Words Assail Us
Son, stand firm and trust in Me; for what are words but words: they fly through the air, but hurt not a stone.
If thou art guilty think that thou wilt willingly amend thyself.
If thy conscience accuse thee not, think that thou wilt willingly suffer this for God's sake.
It is a small matter that thou shouldst sometimes bear with words, if thou has not as yet courage to endure hard stripes.
And why do such small things go to thy heart, but because thou art yet carnal, and regardest men more than thou oughtst!
For because thou art afraid of being despised, thou art not willing to be reprehended for thy faults, and seekest to shelter thyself in excuses.
2. But look better into thyself and thou shalt find that the world is still living in thee, and a vain desire of pleasing men.
For when thou art willing to be humbled nad confounded for thy defects, it is plain indeed that thou art not truly humble, nor dead to the world, nor the world crucified to thee.-GAL. VI. 14.
But give ear to My word, and thou shall not value ten thousand words of men.
Behold if all should be said against thee which the malice of men can invent hurt could it do thee if thou wouldst let it pass, and make no account of it? Could it even so much as pluck one hair from thee?-LUKE XXI. 18.
3. But he who has not his heart within, nor God before his eyes, is easily moved with a word of censure.
Whereas he that trusts in Me, and desires not to stand by his own judgement, will be free from fear of men.
For I am the judge and discerner of all secrets, I know how the matter passeth; I know both him that offers the injury, and him that suffers it.
From Me this word went forth: By My permission it happened, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.-LUKE II. 35.
I shall judge the guilty and the innocent, but by a secret judgement I would beforehand try them both.
4. The testimony of men oftentimes deceives; My judgement is true, it shall stand and not be overthrown.-PS. XV. 10.
It is hidden for the most part, and to few laid open in everything; yet it never errs, nor can it err, even though to the eyes of the unwise it seems not right.
to Me, therefore must thou run in every judgement and not depend upon thy own will.
For the just man will not be troubled whatever happens to him from God.-PROV. XII. 21.
And if anything be wrongfully pronounced against him he will not much care.
Neither will he vainly rejoice if by others he be reasonably excused.
For he considers that I am He Who searcheth the heart and the reins-PS. VII. 10. Who judgeth not according to the face, nor according to human appearance.
For oftentimes that is found culpable in My eyes which in the judgement of men is esteemed commendable.
5. O Lord God, the just Judge, strong and patient, Who knowst the frailty and perverseness of men, be Thou my strength and all my confidence, for my own conscience sufficesme not.
thou knowest that which I know not, and therefore in every reprehension I ought to humble myself, and bear it with meekness.
Pardon me, I beseech Thee, in Thy mercy, as often as I have not done thus, and give me again the grace to suffer still more.
For better to me is Thy plenteous mercy for the obtaining of pardon, than the justice which I imagine in myself for the defence of my hidden conscience.
Although my conscience accuse me not, yet I cannot hereby justify myself-1COR. IV. 4. for setting Thy mercy aside, in thy sight no man living shall be justified.-PS.CXLII. 2.