Monday, March 26, 2007

Always a need for Forbearance, right sweetie!?

Except from Mutual Forbearance by J.R. Miller (1840-1912)

We need to guard against A CRITICAL SPIRIT. It is very easy to find fault with people. It is possible, even with ordinary glasses, to see many things in one another that are not what they ought to be. Then some people carry microscopes with which they can find countless blemishes in the character and conduct even of the most saintly dwellers on the earth. There are some who are always watching for slights and grievances. They are suspicious of the motives and intentions of others. This habit is directly at variance with the law of love, which thinks no evil.

We turn to our Pattern of Conduct, Jesus Christ. Does He look upon us sharply, critically, suspiciously? He sees every infirmity in us, but it is as though He did not see it. His love overlooks it. He throws a veil over our faults. He continues to pour His own love into us in spite of all our blemishes and our ill-treatment of Him. The duty of Christian forbearance requires the same in us. We must not keep our selfish suspicions ever on the watch-tower or at the windows, looking out for neglects, discourtesies, wrongs, or grievances of any kind. We must not be hasty to think evil of others. We had better be blind, not perceiving at all the seeming rudeness or insult. It is well not to hear all that is said, or, if we do hear we would do well to ignore it.

Many bitter quarrels have grown out of IMAGINED slights or misunderstandings. If a few moments had been taken to determine the truth, there wouldn’t have been any need for ill-feeling.

We should also seek to understand the MOTIVE which prompts the apparent grievance. In many cases, the cause of our grievance is utterly unintentional, chargeable to nothing worse than thoughtlessness—possibly meant even for kindness. It is never fair to judge men by every word they speak or everything they do amid the irritations of busy daily life. Many a gruff man carries a good heart and a sincere friendship under his coarse manner. The best does not always come to the surface. We should never, therefore, hastily imagine evil intention in others. Nor should we allow ourselves to be easily persuaded that our companions or friends meant to treat us unkindly. A disposition to look favorably upon the conduct of our fellow-men is a wonderful absorber of the frictions of life.

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