Book 3, Chapter 28: Against the Tongues of Detractors.
Chapter Focus: Keep in mind that Thomas uses the words of the Savior us to prod us into shedding our worldly affections, especially those rooted in vanity. Because of this at times the meditations of “The Imitation” sounds severe. As if Thomas wants us to “hate” ourselves or put ourselves down. Today’s meditation is one of those. That’s really not the focus of message here but bears mentioning.
In this chapter, Christ tells us that when the world calls you nasty names, or flings curses at us, to take it quietly. That is: Keep the mouth shut! Instead, we need to within ourselves for the truth of the matter asserted and how it may apply. But then we should direct our attention to Christ for peace. We need to quit defending our reputation. To the extent we allow those words to hurt us, our detractors have found a weak spot in our armor. Fix it with the salve of the Cross.
Chapter 28, In Short.
1. Do not take it to heart, if some people think or speak ill of you.
2. Do not let your peace depend upon the words of others.
Question: Where is your true peace or true glory?
The Text of Chapter 28: Against the Tongues of Detractors.
“My Child, do not take it to heart, if some people think ill of you, and say of you what you are not willing to hear.
You ought to think worse of yourself anyway, and believe that no one is weaker than you.
If you walk with an inward reflection, you will take little notice of such flying, meaningless words. It is an exercise in great prudence to keep silent in an evil time and to turn inwardly to Me, and not to be disturbed by human judgment.
2. “Do not let your peace depend upon the words of others. For whether they judge well or ill of you, you are not any other person than yourself. Besides: Where is true peace or true glory? Is it not in Me?
And whoever does not seek to please others, or fear to displease, shall enjoy abundant peace(Col 3:22). All disquiet of heart and distraction of the senses arises from an inordinate love and vain fear.”