“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Galatians 6:2-4
“in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
If we were truly humble and looked upon ourselves as most miserable sinners, we should willingly submit to all adversities and patiently bear the burden and infirmities of others, considering that God has borne with us a great deal more. Observing, therefore, the faults of our neighbor, we must not forget our own. Perhaps, in other things we are weaker than he.
This will restrain us from judging rashly or speaking unadvisedly to others — but first we should speak to God about it and then try with gentle means to improve those whom we may think worthy of blame.
Nay, the best method is to consider our neighbor on the good, and ourselves on the bad side; and to see whether we cannot apologize for him, and have not reason severely to condemn ourselves. If his fault admits of no excuse, still we must not suffer him to stir up our corruption — but plead affectionately for him before the throne of our forgiving God.
It is very easy to find fault with others — but to show love and restore them by prayer and brotherly correction is quite another thing. Lord, teach me to love my neighbor as myself!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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