Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Encourage the young

A few words to a young Christian will be very greatly helpful to him, and his weakness craves them. Those of us who have been a long while in the Lord’s ways ought to be ashamed if we are gruff, and sour, and critical. You know it was the elder brother, not one of the younger ones, who said, “This thy son hath come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots,” and so on. Do not degenerate into the elder brother’s spirit, I pray you. You must grow older in years, but endeavor to remain young at heart.

There is a tendency to look for too much in young converts, and to expect in them a great deal more than we shall ever see. This is wrong. We shall not do them much good by criticizing them, but we may greatly benefit them by encouraging them.... There is nothing like a cheer to a fellow when he feels faint... Give the weak brother a cheer, I say. When you meet with a young believer who is tossed about, give him a cheer; give him a hearty cheer. Tell him some choice promise, tell him how the Lord helped you. Your few words may not be much to you, but they will be very much to him; whereas the black look, which, perhaps, you really did not mean, may chill him to the very marrow of his bones. Many a poor young Christian has been frostbitten by the coldness of stern professors. Let us make a rule to encourage the young and help them forward, for that work of encouragement may affect the whole of their future history.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The First Day Of Creation," delivered August 29, 1875. Image by JR Guillaumin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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