Chapter 7

On Avoiding Vain Hope and Conceit

Whoever puts his confidence in men or in any creature is very foolish. Do not be ashamed to be the servant of others forlove of Jesus Christ, and to appear poor in this world. Do nottrust in yourself, but put your whole confidence in God. Dowhat you are able, and God will bless your good intention.Do not trust in your own knowledge, nor in the cleverness ofany man living, but rather in the grace of God, who aids the humble (James 4:6) and humbles the proud.

Do not boast of your possessions, if you have any, nor of the influence of your friends; but glory in God, (2 Cor. 10:17) who gives all things and desires above all things to give you Himself. Do not be vain about your beauty or strength of body, which a little sickness can mar and disfigure. Take no pleasure in your own ability and cleverness, lest you offend God, who has Himself bestowed on you all your natural gifts.

Do not esteem yourself better than others, lest you appear worse in the eyes of God, who alone knows the heart of man (Ps.44:11; John 2:25). Do not be proud of your good deeds, for God does not judge as men; and what delights men often displeases God. If you have any good qualities, remember that others have more; and so remain humble. It does you no harm when you esteem all others better than yourself, but it does you great harm when you esteem yourself above others. True peace dwells only in the heart of the humble: but the heart of the proud is ever full of pride and jealousy.

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