“Let your gentleness be known to all men.” Philippians 4:5
“Love edifies.” 1 Corinthians 8:1
If you rebuke others and would have them to be like you, you ought to examine yourself first, whether your rebukes flow from a blind party zeal, impatience, and self-will, or from a true principle of love; and whether you are also much in prayer for them, both before and after. He who lays the long sufferings of the Son of God truly to heart and considers how gently that heavenly Benefactor has treated him and still treats him, like the weakest child, must be moderate also toward all men and think, “If no one else would bear with others, surely I must.” May the Lord give us all the right spirit of meekness, to show all lenity to our fellow-Christians!
My soul, when about to reprove others, look into your own heart; look back to your own life, and look up to God for special grace. Then your reproofs will be as an excellent oil, which will not break the head, though it may break the heart. Remember, it is one sinner reproving another — a sinner, kept by unmerited grace, reproving one, perhaps, left for a little while to himself.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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