Help or a Hindrance?

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”  Romans 14:13

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that each of us give a daily witness in the small ways we behave toward one another and toward our circumstances?  Saint Francis of Assisi supposedly said, “Preach the gospel daily, if necessary use words.”  We are all preaching something, whether we know it or not.  I came across this quote by Frances Ridley Havergal, an English religious poet and hymnist, in my devotional reading this week.  I need to read this and take it to heart every morning.  We are constantly influencing others, and I want my influence to be positive.

“A vexation arises, and our expressions of impatience hinder others from taking it patiently.  Disappointment, ailment, or even weather depresses us;  and our look or tone of expression hinders others from maintaining a cheerful and thankful spirit.  We say an unkind thing, and another is hindered in learning the holy lesson of charity that thinketh no evil.  We say a provoking thing, and our sister or brother is hindered in that day’s effort to be meek.  How sadly, too, we may hinder without word or act!  For wrong feeling is more infectious than wrong doing;  especially the various phases of ill temper–gloominess, touchiness, discontent, irritability,–do we not know how catching these are?”

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