Obedience, in human behavior, is the quality of being obedient, which describes the act of carrying out commands, or being actuated.
- The wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him.
- Aristotle, Metaphysics, 982a15, W. Ross, trans., The Basic Works of Aristotle (2001), p. 691.
- The fear of some divine and supreme powers keeps men in obedience.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section 4. Memb. 1. Subsec. 2.
- The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.
- Noam Chomsky, The Common Good (1998).
- When [Diogenes of Sinope] was sold as a slave, he endured it most nobly. For on a voyage to Aegina he was captured by pirates under the command of Scirpalus, conveyed to Crete and exposed for sale. When the auctioneer asked in what he was proficient, he replied, "In ruling men." Thereupon he pointed to a certain Corinthian with a fine purple border to his robe, the man named Xeniades above-mentioned, and said, "Sell me to this man; he needs a master."
- Diogenes Laërtius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, 6.73
- It isn't right to be obedient only when things go well; it is much harder to be a good, obedient soldier when things go badly and times are hard. Obedience and faith at such time is a virtue.
- Wilhelm Keitel, to Leon Goldensohn, May 17, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately (2004), p. 166.
- Obedience is the key to every door.
- George MacDonald, The Marquis of Lossie (1877), Chapter LIII.
- I find the doing of the will of God, leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.
- George MacDonald, The Marquis of Lossie (1877), Chapter LXXII.
- Son of Heav'n and Earth,
Attend! That thou art happy, owe to God;
That thou continuest such, owe to thyself,
That is, to thy obedience; therein stand.
- Ascend, I follow thee, safe guide, the path
Thou lead'st me, and to the hand of heav'n submit.
- Let them obey that know not how to rule.
- It fits thee not to ask the reason why,
Because we bid it.
- One so small
Who knowing nothing knows but to obey.
- The powerful, if they carry oppression beyond a certain point, necessarily end by making themselves adored by their slaves. For the thought of being under absolute compulsion, the plaything of another, is unendurable for a human being. Hence, if every way of escape from the constraint is taken from him, there is nothing left for him to do but to persuade himself that he does the things he is forced to do willingly, that is to say, to substitute devotion for obedience. ... It is by this twist that slavery debases the soul: this devotion is in fact based on a lie, since the reasons for it cannot bear investigation.
- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1972), pp. 142-143.
- That ... is the road to the obedience of compulsion. But there is a shorter way to a nobler goal, the obedience of the will. When the interests of mankind are at stake, they will obey with joy the man whom they believe to be wiser than themselves. You may prove this on all sides: you may see how the sick man will beg the doctor to tell him what he ought to do, how a whole ship's company will listen to the pilot.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 564.
- Obedience is the mother of success, the wife of safety.
- Æschylus, Septem, Duces, 224.
- Qui modeste paret, videtur qui aliquando imperet dignus esse.
- He who obeys with modesty appears worthy of being some day a commander.
- Cicero, De Legibus, III. 2.
- 'Tis the same, with common natures,
Use 'em kindly, they rebel,
But, be rough as nutmeg graters,
And the rogues obey you well.
- Aaron Hill, verses written on a Window in a Journey to Scotland.
- All arts his own, the hungry Greekling counts;
And bid him mount the skies, the skies he mounts.
- Juvenal, Third Satire. Translation by Gifford.
- All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows;
And bid him go to hell—to hell he goes.
- Juvenal, Third Satire. Paraphrased by Johnson—London.
- No nice extreme a true Italian knows;
But bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
- Juvenal, Third Satire. Paraphrased by Phillips, in a letter to the king in reference to the Italian witnesses at the trial of Queen Caroline.
- Though a god I have learned to obey the times.
- Palladas, Epigram, in Palatine Anthology, IX, 441.
- Through obedience learn to command.
- The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
- Proverbs, XXX. 17.
- Obedience decks the Christian most.
- Friedrich Schiller, Fight with the Dragon. Bowring's translation.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- The sound convert takes a whole Christ, and takes Him for all intents and purposes, without exceptions, without limitations, without reserves. He is willing to have Christ, upon His own terms, upon any terms. He is willing to bear the dominion of Christ as well as have deliverance by Christ. He saith with Paul, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"
- Joseph Alleine, p. 436.
- To be a Christian is to obey Christ no matter how you feel.
- Henry Ward Beecher, p. 434.
- O God, the strength of all those who put their trust in Thee; mercifully accept our prayer; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without Thee, grant us the help of Thy grace, that in keeping Thy commandments we may please Thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Book Of Common Prayer, p. 436.
- Every man obeys Christ as he prizes Christ, and no otherwise.
- Thomas Brooks (Puritan), p. 435.
- The history of all the great characters of the Bible is summed up in this one sentence: — they acquainted themselves with God, and acquiesced in His will in all things.
- Richard Cecil, p. 435.
- "Arise, take up thy bed and walk." You are on your bed now. You put yourself there by your own sin. You have kept yourself there by your own choice. Every sinner is a sinner because he chooses to be; and you are no exception. Jesus commands you to repent and trust Him and follow Him. The moment you are willing to obey, He gives you strength to obey.
- Theodore L. Cuyler, p. 435.
- Worship is easier than obedience. Men are ever readier to serve the priest than to obey the prophet.
- A. M. Fairbairn, p. 436.
- I believe that the fewer the laws in a home the better; but there is one law which should be as plainly understood as the shining of the sun is visible at noonday, and that is, implicit and instantaneous obedience from the child to the parent, not only for the peace of the home, but for the highest good of the child.
- Abbott Eliot Kittredge, p. 437.
- Poor, sad Humanity
Through all the dust and heat
Turns back with bleeding feet,
By the weary road it came,
Unto the simple thought
By the Great Master taught,
And that remaineth still,
Not he that repeateth the name,
But he that doeth the will!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, p. 436.
- True obedience to God is the obedience of faith and good works; that is, he is truly obedient to God who trusts Him, and does what He commands.
- Martin Luther, p. 434.
- O that we could take that simple view of things, as to feel that the one thing which lies before us is to please God! What gain is it to please the world, to please the great, nay, even to please those whom we love, compared with this? What gain is it to be applauded, admired, courted, followed,—compared with this one aim of "not being disobedient to the heavenly vision?"
- J. H. Newman., p. 435.
- Let the ground of all thy religious actions be obedience; examine not why it is commanded, but observe it because it is commanded. True obedience neither procrastinates nor questions.
- Francis Quarles, p. 436.
- This is the secret of Christ's kingship— "He became obedient — wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him." And this is the secret of all obedience and all command. Obedience to a law above you subjugates minds to you who never would have yielded to mere will.
- Frederick William Robertson, p. 437.
- "Sir," said the Duke of Wellington to an officer of engineers, who urged the impossibility of executing the directions he had received, "I did not ask your opinion, I gave you my orders, and I expect them to be obeyed." Such should be the obedience of every follower of Jesus.
- Charles Spurgeon, p. 435.