Loving One Another
If there was ever one thing stressed above another in the teaching of Christ and the inspired writers it was interest and love for another. Jesus said by this shall all men know ye are my disciples if ye love one another. He well emphasized the fact that one like the rich man who said soul take thine ease was but a fool, for he thought of no one but himself. As far back as the days of Cain it is impressed that we are our brotherís keeper. Then in Abrahamís day it was also impressed that those who are brethren are to have no strife between them. So it is a general plan of the Lord for us to love the brotherhood. If this is not so well done, as it ought to be today, then it is our duty to put forth a great≠er effort to do more like the Lord commands.
We are told to look to the things of others, not just for our-selves. This would apply in the work of Paul when he said let us go again and see how the brethren fare. It is a shame to es≠tablish a work and then leave it to die. This has so often been done and those who failed may well look to those who caused the failure because they did not follow up the work. Yet it is well known that sometimes they do not want to be looked after. Just as a child does not want the parent to direct his way but that is no reason for not doing what is best and the way the example is set in the word.
Timothy was told that by taking heed to himself and the doc≠trine and continuing therein he would both save himself and them that heard him. I know well enough that the example set before others, especially the one young and weak in the cause, will either save or lose his soul. Everyone ought to be very careful as to what is done before the other and see to it that it is only that which would edify and not tear down what was already started for good. People are very thoughtless about the other one and often cause him to stumble and so doing wrong thereby. All do not have the knowledge that they ought, and so that is to be considered.
Paul was ready to spend and be spent; yet the more he loved them the less he was loved, but that did not keep him from feeling his being a debtor to all men. You need not be discouraged if when you are interested in others they spurn your interest, for that is as old as the human family. Neither should you give up if you cannot get them to do what is for their good. The Lord has such experience with us most every day. What if he should quit us all at once? When the early Christians were longing to save the souls of people and they would turn and stone, beat and put in prison, or even kill, how do you suppose the teacher felt? Well, let us profit by that now.
The members of the church are too selfish to be fully pleasing to the Lord. They are not friendly, visiting, and helping in time of need, and sorrow as one big, loving family ought to be. Very few of any congregation of any size know the members of that place. Years may go by as they worship in the same building and they never know by name or face each other. When one member suffers all ought to suffer with it. But one could suffer and die and hardly any of the other members know about it. We are too much for number and not for known quality, but think the large crowd is all we need. Small congregations generally know each other better and for that reason may fuss about as much as the large places. But there ought to be the love for one another as Christ said.
Abraham was interested in Lot and risked all he had and his own life to bring him back. Lot had not acted so as to deserve that kind of treatment, yet that did not check Abrahamís interest in him. The one who is not so good may need more interest mani≠fested than anyone else. Are we free to show that? I do not know that you need to expect the other person to appreciate your cor≠recting him at the time it is being done, but it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness afterwards. If it does not you have done your duty and the other one will be to blame. Let us see that we are interested in others, and follow the Lord in this.
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