Go and Do

Arthur P. Stanley (13 December 1815 – 18 July 1881) was an Anglican priest and ecclesiastic historian.  His quote below is a good reminder that Christ calls us not only to believe, but to take action.

“Up and be doing” is the word that comes from God for each of us.  Leave some ‘good work’ behind you that shall not be wholly lost when you have passed away.  Do something worth living for, worth dying for.  Is there no want, no suffering, no sorrow that you can relieve?  Is there no act of tardy justice, no deed of cheerful kindness, no long-forgotten duty that you can perform?  Is there no reconciliation of some ancient quarrel, no payment of some long-out-standing debt, no courtesy, or love, or honor to be rendered to those to whom it has been long due;  no charitable, humble, kind, useful deed by which you can promote the glory of God, or good will among men, or peace upon earth?  If there be any such deed, in God’s name, in Christ’s name, go and do it.”

Arthur P. Stanley

For more by Arthur P. Stanley see:

My Hope for the Future

Be Charitable


My Hope for the Future

It will soon be January, and at the beginning of a new year, we often think of making some “new year resolutions.”  What do I want to accomplish this year?  How do I want to change?  What could I do better?

Recently my reunion group friend and I have been discussing the examination of conscience (for more information see Examination of Conscience).  We both agree that our biggest problem is not doing sinful things, but doing good things with a poor attitude.  We can do our Christian duty while grumbling, becoming impatient or feeling aggrieved.  I’ve been praying to improve, and this quote from my daily devotional describes well the way I hope to behave with the help of the Holy Spirit.

“That is what our sacrifice of ourselves should be –‘full of life.’  Not desponding, morbid, morose;  not gloomy, chilly, forbidding;  not languid, indolent, inactive;  but full of life, and warmth, and energy;  cheerful and making others cheerful;  gay, and making others gay;  happy and making others happy;  contented and making others contented;  doing good and making others do good, by our lively vivid vitality,–filling every corner of the circle in which we move, with the fresh life-blood of a warm, genial, kindly Christian heart.  Doubtless this requires a sacrifice;  it requires us to give up our own comfort, our own ease, our own firesides, our dear solitude, or own favorite absorbing pursuits, our shyness, our reserve, our pride, our selfishness.”

Arthur P. Stanley 

Be Charitable

We often think the word “charitable” means generous in financial giving. While this is true, there is another definition:  apt to judge others leniently or favorably.  Because of the sin that is part of our DNA, we seldom do this.  Instead we think the worst of others.  This seems particularly true in the world of social media.  Those with whom we disagree are demonized.  They’re not just wrong, they’re downright evil.  Rather than trying to understand and dialog, we attack and belittle.  This doesn’t just happens in politics, it divides families and churches.  As Christians, we’re called to avoid this kind of behavior.  In the book of Romans, Paul says:

1Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:10

Other Christians are to be treated as our siblings;  other people as God’s beloved creations.  EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREE.

Here’s a quote from my devotional written by Arthur P. Stanley ((1815-1881), an English churchman and academic:

“Love one another in spite of your differences, in spite of your faults.  Love one another and make the best of one another, as He loved us, who, for the sake of saving what was good in the human soul, forgot, forgave, put out of sight what was bad–who saw and loved what was good even in the publican Zacheus, even in the penitent Magdalen, even in the expiring malefactor, even in the heretical Samaritan, even in the Pharisee Nicodemus, even in the heathen soldier, even in the outcast Canaanite.  It is very easy to fix our attention only on the weak points of those around us, to magnify them, to irritate them, to aggravate them; and by so doing, we can make the burden of life unendurable, and can destroy our own and others’ happiness and usefulness wherever we go.  But this was not the love wherewith Christ loved us;  this is not the new love wherewith we are to love one another.”

Be charitable.  Love like Jesus.