We should look at the faults of others only through love’s eyes — with charity, patience, and compassion. We do not know the history of people around us. We do not know what scars mark another’s soul. We do not know the pains which make life hard for some with whom we are tempted to be impatient. If we knew all of the secret burdens, and all of the hidden wounds which are carried below a smiling face, we would be more gentle.
People are tempted to be jealous and upset when viewing what other people have, as compared to themselves. If you tend to do that, think of Jesus. With all of his great power and his rich life, he never lived anywhere, or possessed anything which fit his “exalted character.”
If you can do nothing but live a true Christian life — patient, gentle, kind, pure; whether in your family, out in society, or at your work, you will perform a great service to the world and leave behind many blessings. Such a life is the Gospel, telling in sermons without words, the wonderful story or Jesus.
We all need sympathy, kindness, smiles, fellowship, and a thousand other little acts of love as we travel along the dusty roads of life. These are the little acts of friendship which brighten every life. It is some of the daily bread which our heart longs for. More than great gifts, what strengthens our being is the inspiration, comfort, hope, and smiles seen on the face of a friend.
The mistakes we make, the wrongs we commit, are more often devastating to ourselves then they are to other people. But when we admit them to Christ, he can give birth to a new life inside of us. Christ can cause our misdeeds to yield blessings, and our misbehavior to be stepping stones on which a better life is reached. This is one of the true mysteries of grace, it can make all things work together for good.
Certain things need to be done now — or not at all. Today a sick friend needs your visit — tomorrow he or she might be well, or dead. Today someone needs sympathy — tomorrow it might not be of any use. Today another needs your strength — tomorrow that person might be defeated and the battle lost forever.
Tomorrow is a fateful word — millions of lives, and countless numbers of hopes have been wrecked on it. Today is the time of blessing.
It would be nice if there were no pains, no trials, or no hardships in life. But is it possible that the great qualities of character — goodness, honesty, nobleness, and purity — cannot be had without struggle and self-denial?
Every promised land lies beyond a deep, turbulent river, which must be crossed before the land can be entered into. To not cross the water, is to not enter the land. To endure is to find yourself in a new place.
“Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him” -James 1:12
It has been said that the beginning of wisdom is the ability not to take ourselves too seriously. If that is true, then perhaps humor is the first lesson which wisdom teaches. The lighter side of life has the ability to put into perspective the hard truth of so much serious business. Each day has the capacity to hold within its confines frustration, agitation, confusion, complication, irritation, and just plain old fashioned hurt, regret, pain, and wishful longing. God’s gift of laughter just may be some of the medicine he gives to heal the hurts.
Touching was a hallmark of the ministry of Jesus. He lifted those who could not walk; he placed his fingers in the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf; he touched lepers and cleansed them; he laid his hands on the possessed and released them.
Touch is a very important part of our life. Not only do we learn much about our world around us, but by it we convey what is inside of us. Touching expresses anger or love, compassion or pity, caring or indifference. The way we touch another expresses the depths of our own being.
“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him” -Mark 1:41
“If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well” -Mark 5:28
Things we are never sorry for:
- Doing good to all
- Being patient with the ignorant
- Listening before judging
- Not speaking when angry
- Being kind toward the distressed
- Speaking bad about no one
- Not listening to those who speak badly of others
- Praying for our enemies
- Serving Christ with loyalty
- Doing our duty
- Forgiving those who wrong us
- Doing good without expecting a reward
Acts such as these add sorrow to no ones life — including your own.
Decades ago, when early aircraft were crossing the ocean, the pilot would announce when they had crossed “the point of no return.” All it meant was that in the event of a problem, it is a shorter distance to the destination than to the point of origin.
The Christian life has a point of “no return” in it as well. That happens when we become “all in.” Up until then we may not believe that God is able, that he can overcome, or even that he is there with us. But once “the point of no return” has been passed, we realize that everything is in God’s hands
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” -Philippians 4:19