Fear of Man’s Opinion – J.C. Ryle

This is Good Stuff. To think that this was written in the late 1800s is impressive to me. This sounds like something that was written on someone’s blog just the other day. Very readable. Direct. To the point. The other day I read this and it greatly encouraged me. I hope it does the same for you.

Taken from “Thoughts For Young Men”
J. C. Ryle (1816 – 1900)

Few young men seem to have any opinions of their own, or to think for themselves. Like dead fish, they go with the stream and tide. In a word, the opinion of the day becomes their religion, their creed, their Bible, and their God.

Young men, I want you all to be free from this bondage. I want each of you to care nothing about man’s opinion, when the path of duty is clear. Believe me, it is a great thing to be able to say “No!”

Consider how unreasonable this fear of man is.

  • How short lived is man’s hostility
  • How little harm he can do you!

Do not think it a disgrace to show that you are a servant of God

  • Never be afraid of doing what is right.
  • Remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Don’t worry what the world says or thinks: you will not always be with the world.

  • Can man save your soul? No.
  • Will man be your judge in the great and dreadful Day of Judgment? No.
  • Can man give you a good conscience in this life, a good hope in death? No! no! no!

Then, “Do not fear the reproach of men,” or be terrified by their insults.

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2 thoughts on “Fear of Man’s Opinion – J.C. Ryle

  1. Good post. I just finished reading a book on this same topic called “When People are Big and God is Small” by Edward T. Welch. I highly recommend it. The basic premise is that we fear man and are controlled by that fear because our view of God is small. When our fear of God is bigger than our fear of man our idolatry is rendered nil.

    Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/When-People-Are-Big-Small/dp/0875526004/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281729449&sr=8-1