“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (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 only need 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, and others by their bitter enmity and persecution. But He never failed in sweetness of disposition, in long-suffering patience, or in self-denying love. Like the flowers which give out their perfume only when crushed, like the sweet-scented 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 upon which we should strive to fashion our life and our character! Every outbreak of violent temper, and every shade of ugliness in disposition, mars the radiant loveliness of the picture which we are seeking to have fashioned in our lives.
“The perfect beauty of Christ should always be envisioned in our hearts, as that which we desire to attain for ourselves. The honor of our Master’s name should impel us to always strive towards Christlikeness in spirit and in disposition.
“We represent Christ in this world. People cannot see Him, and so they must look at us to see a little of what He is like. No matter what 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 (2 Timothy 2:24). As our own lives shine in the brightness of holy affectionateness, and as our hearts and lips distill the sweetness of patience and gentleness – only then can we fulfill our mission in this world, as Christ’s true messengers to mankind.
“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 – every day! – has to show such infinite patience towards us. Can we not, then, train our own life to sweeter gentleness? Can we not learn to be touched even a little roughly, without resenting it? Can we not bear minor injuries and apparent injustices, without flying into a rage? Can we not have something in us 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 that is so obstinately 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!”
Mr. Miller is absolutely correct when he says that if we fail to imitate Jesus’ love and kindness, then we fail to represent Him properly to the eyes of the watching world. However, if God has blessed us by placing us in a family unit, our first obligation is to portray the loveliness of Christ to our spouse, our children, our parents, and our siblings!
Is there a certain person or persons in your family that you just seem to have a hard time getting along with? Do you find yourself continually losing your temper with them?
Have you considered the infinite number of ways in which your sins and iniquities test the Lord’s patience, every single day? He still shows His tender lovingkindness to you, in spite of your transgressions and shortcomings. Don’t you think it would only be right to pray for His grace to transform you more and more into the image of Christ, so that you can imitate His sweet gentleness in your relationships with your family members?
Feel free to share your thoughts with all of our readers in the comments section below!
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for the King’s glory,
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