Sunday, August 15, 2010
Any Fly Can Find a Sore
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" ―Hebrews 12:12-15
The virtue of charity is clearly seen in a man or a woman that is pleasant, kind, and longsuffering toward the faults of others, especially those who are close to them. A husband that is tender toward his wife is a man who has come to grips with his own sins and the grace he has been shown, and therefore he can patiently help her grow in Christ because he delights in serving her. Likewise, a wife who is comfortable in her own calling possesses a confidence and peace toward her less than perfect man and can encourage his sanctification. She too finds delight in service. They are lovely to behold. This kind of charity will naturally (supernaturally?) flow outward to all those they encounter so that they become a pleasant addition to any gathering of people. They are positive contributors to the church and any other organization they are part of because they humbly look for and work for solutions to problems and difficulties, sharing the burdens and responsibilities, never shifting the blame to others.
Those who own every offence and lug it around day-after-day and year-after-year are embittered, and it shows in their face and their tone. Like a fly, it's their nature to find every sore. It's never them; it's always "the other person" who hasn't done them right, and they can sight chapter and verse. They will never truly be happy. Visible patterns always develop because charity bears one kind of fruit: "When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Pr. 16:7); and the lack of charity yields another kind of fruit: "An angry man stirs up strife" (Pr. 29:22). We can always look in a person's wake and see what they leave in the places where they've been and then we will know if charity was really in their hearts.