Monday, October 27, 2014

Use The Weapon Of Love

The name of Paul brought the blood into the face of a Jew. He spat in rage. More than forty of them had bound themselves with an oath that they would slay him, and the whole company of the circumcised seemed, wherever he went, to be moved by the same impulse. He frequently gathered large congregations of Gentiles who attended to him earnestly, but the Jews stirred up riots and mobs, and, frequently, he was in danger of his life from them. They detested him; regarding him as an accursed apostate from the faith of his fathers. Remembering how earnest he had been against Christ, they could not believe in his sincerity when he became a Christian, or, if they did, they hated him as a fanatic whose delusion was beyond measure mischievous. His generous retaliation was to pray for them, nay, more, to carry the whole nation on his heart as a burden. “I have continual heaviness,” says he, “and sorrow of heart for my kinsmen according to the flesh.”

Now, if any of you in following Christ should meet with opposition, avenge it in the same way. Love most the man who treats you worst. If any man would kill you in his anger, kill him with your loving prayers. If he smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also in submission, and lift both hands and eyes to heaven and cry, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Never let oppressors see your anger rise. They will observe your emotion and your grief, and they will perceive that you are naturally vexed and troubled, but let them also see that you bear them no malice, but desire their welfare. I commend this to those who have a hard fight for Christ in the workroom, in the midst of sneers and jests. Never use the devil’s weapons, though they lie very handy, and look very suitable. Only use Christ's omnipotent weapon of love, so shall ye be his disciples.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Concern For Other Men's Souls." Image by maf04 on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

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