SophronyWe shall not care what people think of us, or how they treat us.

We shall cease to be afraid of falling out of favor.

We shall love our fellow men without thought of whether they love us.

Christ gave us the commandment to love others but did not make it a condition of salvation that they should love us.

Indeed, we may positively be disliked for independence of spirit.

It is essential in these days to be able to protect ourselves from the influence of those with whom we come in contact. Otherwise we risk losing both faith and prayer.

Let the whole world dismiss us as unworthy of attention, trust or respect – it will not matter provided that the Lord accept us.

And vice versa: it will profit us nothing if the whole world thinks well of us and sings our praises, if the Lord declines to abide with us.

This is only a fragment of the freedom Christ meant when He said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8.32).

Our sole care will be to continue in the word of Christ, to become His disciples and cease to be servants of sin.

Elder Sophrony (1896-1993; Orthodox); H/T to TheHandmaid