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Name: Mrs. A
Interests: Dove dark chocolate; my family; my church; my Lord (not in that order).
Expertise: mommying; wifeying; teaching youth; homeschooling
Occupation: Unemployed/Between Jobs
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"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
The ideal Christian life, is one of unbroken kindliness. It is dominated by love—the love whose portrait is drawn for us in the immortal thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians. We have but to turn to the gospel pages, to find the story of a Life in which all this was realized. Jesus never lost his temper. He lived among people who tried Him at every point—some by their dullness, others by their bitter enmity and persecution, but He never failed in sweetness of disposition, in long-suffering patience, in self-denying love. Like the flowers which give out their perfume only when crushed, like the odoriferous wood which bathes with fragrance the ax which hews it, the life of Christ yielded only the tenderer, sweeter love to the rough impact of men's rudeness and wrong. That is the pattern on which we should strive to fashion our life and our character. Every outbreak of violent temper, every shade of ugliness in disposition, mars the radiant loveliness of the picture we are seeking to have fashioned in our lives.
The perfect beauty of Christ, should ever be envisioned in our hearts, as that which we would attain for ourselves. The honor of our Master's name, should impel us to strive ever toward Christlikeness in spirit and in disposition.
We represent Christ in this world; people cannot see Him, and they must look at us to see a little of what He is like. Whatever great work we may do for Christ, if we fail to live out His life of patience and kindness, we fail in an essential part of our duty as Christians. "The servant of the Lord must be gentle." Only as our own lives shine in the brightness of holy affectionateness, and our hearts and lips distill the sweetness of patience and gentleness, can we fulfill our mission in this world as Christ's true messengers to men.
Life is too short to spend even one day of it in bickering and strife. Love is too sacred to be forever lacerated and torn by the ugly briers of sharp temper. Surely we ought to learn to be patient with others, since God has to show every day such infinite patience toward us. Can we not, then, train our life to sweeter gentleness? Can we not learn to be touched even a little roughly, without resenting it? Can we not bear little injuries and apparent injustices, without flying into an unseemly rage? Can we not have in us something of the mind of Christ which will enable us, like Him to endure all wrong and injury and give back no word or look of bitterness?
There is no temper so obdurately bad that it cannot be trained into sweetness. The grace of God can take the most unlovely life and transform it into the image of Christ!
J. R. Miller, "About Temper", 1912
|I am very bad about updating this blog as my readers may have already noticed...today, however, I feel compelled to share this point of conviction that I was reminded of as I prepared to teach my high-school girl's Sunday school class. |
Thomas Watson (English Puritan pastor c.1620-1686) reminds us:
We glorify God by walking cheerfully. It brings glory to God, when the world sees a Christian has that within him that can make him cheerful in the worst times; that can enable him, with the nightingale, to sing with a thorn at his breast. The people of God have ground for cheerfulness. They are justified and adopted, and this creates inward peace; it makes music within, whatever storms are without. 2 Corinthians 1:4. 1 Thessalonians 1:6.
2 Corinthians 1:4 - who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 - And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
If we consider what Christ has wrought for us by his blood, and wrought in us by his Spirit, it is a ground of great cheerfulness, and this cheerfulness glorifies God. It reflects upon a master when the servant is always drooping and sad; sure he is kept to hard commons, his master does not give him what is fitting; so, when God’s people hang their heads, it looks as if they did not serve a good master, or repented of their choice, which reflects dishonour on God. As the gross sins of the wicked bring a scandal on the gospel, so do the uncheerful lives of the godly. Ps 100:2. ‘Serve the Lord with gladness.’ Your serving him does not glorify him, unless it be with gladness. A Christian’s cheerful looks glorify God; religion does not take away our joy, but refines it; it does not break our viol, but tunes it, and makes the music sweeter.”
~ from the sermon Man’s Chief End (emphasis mine)
In your hand are power and might,
and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
1 Chronicles 29:12
WHEN I have nothing in my hand
Wherewith to serve my King,
When Thy commandment finds me weak
And wanting everything,
My soul, upon Thy greatness cast,
Shall rise divinely free;
Then will I serve with what Thou hast,
And gird myself with Thee.
~ ANNA L. WARING
HOW are we to approach such blessed strength? First of all, through a steadfast will to refuse nothing that God requires of us, and to do nothing deliberately which can displease Him. Next, we must learn to take our faults humbly, as proofs of our weakness, and use them to increase our trust in God, and our mistrust of self. Neither must we be discouraged at our own wretchedness, or give way to the thought that we cannot do or bear any special thing; our duty is, while confessing that of ourselves it is impossible, to remember that God is all-powerful, and that through Him we can do whatever He may require of us. We must learn to say with St. Augustine, "Give me what Thou commandest, and command what Thou wilt."
~JEAN NICOLAS GROU