Chapter 9

On Obedience and Discipline

It is an excellent thing to live under obedience to a superior, and not to be one's own master. It is much safer to obey than to rule. Many live under obedience more of necessity than of love and such people are often discontented and complaining. They will never attain freedom of mind unless they submit with their whole heart for the love of God. Go where you please, but nowhere will you find rest except in humble obedience under the rule of a superior. Preference for other places and desire for change have unsettled many.

Everyone gladly does whatever he most likes, and likes best those who think as he does; but if God is to dwell among us we must sometimes yield our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise that he knows all things? So do not place too much reliance on the rightness of your own view but be ready to consider the views of others. If your opinion is sound, and you forego it for the love of God and follow that of another, you will win great merit. I have often heard that is safer to accept advice than to give it. It may even come about that each of two opinions is good; but to refuse to come to an agreement with others when reason or occasion demand it is a sign of pride and obstinacy.

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