This is another quote from my daily devotional. The author is A.P. Stanley(1815–1881) who was an English churchman and academic, Dean of Westminster. The topic is kindness, one that has been coming up in my reading and study recently.
“We may, if we choose, make the worst of one another. Every one has his weak points; every one has his faults; we may make the worst of these; we may fix our attention constantly upon these. But we may also make the best of one another. We may forgive, even as we hope to be forgiven. We may put ourselves in the place of others, and ask what we should wish to be done to us, and thought of us, were we in their place. By loving whatever is lovable in those around us, love will flow back from them to us, and life will become a pleasure instead of a pain; and earth will become like heaven; and we shall become not unworthy followers of Him whose name is love.”
We have been studying the Fruit of the Spirit in our Sunday School class, and just finished love. I came across this quote about love in my daily devotional and had to share it because it touches on so many of the ideas we’ve been discussing. When we fail to forgive and love, the we torment and hurt ourselves more than anyone else.
“Every relation to mankind, of hate or scorn or neglect, is full of vexation and torment. There is nothing to do with men but to love them; to contemplate their virtues with admiration, their faults with pity and forbearance, and their injuries with forgiveness. Task all the ingenuity of your mind to devise some other thing, but you never can find it. To hate your adversary will not help you; to kill him will not help you; nothing within the compass of the universe can help you but to love him. But let that love flow out upon all around you, and what could harm you? How many a knot would be untied by one word spoken in simple and confiding truth of heart! How many a solitary place would be made glad if love were there; and how many a dark dwelling would be filled with light!”
Orville Dewey, Unitarian Pastor
“The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end”
Often when things are beginning or ending, we feel anxious, unsure of what the future holds. This quote by Martin Luther explains how the Christian approaches such times:
“He who believes in God is not careful for the morrow, but labors joyfully and with a great heart. ‘For He giveth His beloved, as in sleep.’ They must work and watch, yet never be careful or anxious, but commit all to Him and live in tranquility; with a quiet heart, as one who sleeps safely and quietly.”
In other words, remember that God is in control!