Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Baxter: guarding our reputation

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
    How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
    —John 5:44 (NIV)
    [There] is a base, man-pleasing disposition that is in us. We are so loth to displease men, and so desirous to keep in credit and favour with them, that it makes us most unconscionably neglect our known duty. A foolish physician he is, and a most unfaithful friend, that will let a sick man die for fear of troubling him; and cruel wretches are we to our friends, that will rather suffer them to go quietly to hell, than we will anger them, or hazard our reputation with them. If they did but fall in a swoon, we would rub them and pinch them, and never stick at hurting them. If they were distracted we would bind them with chains, and we would please them in nothing that tended to their hurt; and yet, when they are beside themselves in point of salvation, and in their madness posting on to damnation we will not stop them, for fear of displeasing them.
    ... Richard Baxter (1615-1691), The Saint’s Everlasting Rest, in The Practical Works of Richard Baxter, v. XXII, ed. William Orme, London: J. Duncan, 1830, p. 222 (see the book)
    See also John 5:39-44; Dan. 11:32; John 12:42-43; Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Thess. 2:6-7
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, show me how to proclaim the Gospel to _____.
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