fear God more than man

Those who try to do good must fear God more than man. Man can hurt the body, but there his enmity must stop. He can go no further. God is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Matt. 10:28]. We may be threatened with the loss of character, property, and all that makes life enjoyable if we go on in the path of Christian duty. We must not heed such threats when our course is plain. Like Daniel and the three Hebrew young men, we must submit to anything rather than displease God and wound our consciences. The anger of man may be hard to bear, but the anger of God is much harder. The fear of man does indeed bring a snare, but we must make it give way to the expulsive power of a stronger principle – even the fear of God. It was a fine saying of good Colonel Gardiner’s: “I fear God, and therefore there is none else that I need fear.”

—J.C. Ryle, 'Expository Thoughts on Matthew'

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