The Infirmities of Christian Brethren
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
Learn to be patient, meekly bearing with the infirmities of Christian brethren. There is a time in our Christian life when we desire to set everybody right and make everything square. But we begin to find after a while that we cannot set our own selves right, nor make our own spirit and conduct square with the word of truth. This conviction, forced increasingly upon us, makes us less keen to see the mote in the eyes of others, and more willing to take out the beam out of our own eye—less desirous to condemn others, more willing to condemn ourselves—less sure of the sins of our friends, more certain of our own.
We sooner or later learn that it is one thing to wink at our brethren’s sins—another to bear with our brethren’s infirmities. We see that we naturally differ from one another, and that though grace changes the heart, the ‘natural disposition’ is rather subdued by grace, than radically altered. Thus our natural tempers, stations and occupations, education, and bringing up—modes of thought and feeling, views of men and things—family and business connections, prejudices and prepossessions—besetting sins and infirmities—our very knowledge and experience of the truth of God—our various stages in the divine life—our afflictions, trials, and temptations, and many other circumstances which we cannot now enumerate—all so widely differ that you can scarcely find two Christians alike—each having his own peculiar infirmities. As, then, we expect others to bear with our infirmities—let us learn to bear with theirs—loving them for the grace that we see in them.