“A person who cares nothing for praise or blame knows great inward peace….Praise does not make you holier than you are, nor blame more wicked. You are exactly what you are, and cannot ever be any better or worse than that, in the eyes of God. Attend to what is really within you, then, and you will not care what others say of you. People look at externals, but God looks at the heart. They weigh actions; God knows your intent….To feel no need of human support and assurance is a mark of inward confidence – of those who truly walk with God in their hearts” (Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ).
Ain’t that the truth. When you are free from the opinions of others and only care what God thinks about you, then you are truly free indeed. Then you no longer have to feel like you always need to defend or explain yourself or your actions. You no longer get upset when someone contradicts you. You no longer feel attacked when someone criticizes you.
To be sure, you don’t need to stand under abuse or abusive talk. You don’t have to stay in relationships where the other makes you feel small and trivial. But when you know your worth, then it ultimately doesn’t matter what anyone else says.
Those who are truly wise don’t mind being corrected. They always find a grain of truth in everything that is said to them, something that they can take away and take to heart. They know that who they are is not dependent on what others say but on what God has already said. They are the ones truly at peace.