In one of his letters, the well-known English statesman Thomas More said: “A soul must be without peace which is ever fluctuating between elation and disappointment from the opinions of [people].”*
In other words, we will never have peace if we are disproportionately tethered to the opinions of other people. The end result is an inevitable roller-coaster ride between happiness and disappointment.
If we all agree (which we probably do), why is this such a hard principle to live out?
A full answer would require more space than a one-minute devotional allows. So let me just say this. The more rooted you are in God, the less you are blown around by the opinions of others.
Psalm 1 describes someone who is blessed because they delight in God’s law. They meditate on it day and night. “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water…” (verse 3).
A tree has deep roots. As a result, the winds of the world—including the opinions of other people—may make you sway, but not topple.
What I’ve noticed is this. The longer someone spends learning God’s ways, and the longer they humbly endeavour to walk in those ways, the more rooted they become. As a result, they can recognize what is happening around them, and say ‘No Thank you’ to the roller-coaster ride everyone else seems to be taking, but which very few seem to enjoy.
Do you want peace? Grow roots.
The more rooted you are in God, the less you are blown around by the opinions of others.
—Sermon. “Which Judge would you rather have.” May 15, 2022. Click here.
–*Thomas Stapleton, Life of Sir Thomas More (London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1928), 101.