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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grounded Steadiness

Rock of Gibraltar
Which gives you more difficulty: External criticism or internal fears? Why? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 681).

It's remarkable the extent to which the people I most admire as being solid and steady have learned to manage if not to master the difficult areas of external criticism and internal fears. Once I asked a prominent person that I greatly admired a bareknuckle question – “Are you a racist?” He thought for a moment and said with a light chuckle "Some people may think I am." I consider how less assured persons would have responded to this question – with agitation, self-righteous indignation and anger. Perhaps I was testing the man; if so he passed with flying colors. He knew who he was – his essential nature – and was not and could not be affected by the prejudicial judgment of others. Could he in some sense be damaged by the negative opinion of others? No doubt he could. We all can under some circumstances. But there is a certain ease gained in realizing that only God sees the heart. The judgment of all others is of necessity in some sense filtered through the prejudices and inclinations of fallible human beings. When one is content to let God be the judge of the heart, then agitation over external criticism and internal anxieties and fears is greatly ameliorated. It is practically efficacious to come to fear God and not man, all the time keeping in mind that we are commanded to love one another.

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