“If I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.” Romans 15:2
“A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet.” Proverbs 29:5
“He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward than he who flatters with the tongue.” Proverbs 28:23
We are ever inclined to extremes, even when God has begun to make us wise and to conform us to His own holy nature. At one time, we are apt to run into a false activity for the conversion of others, trusting too much on our own sufficiency and strength. At other times, we fall into remissness and languor. May the Lord therefore always guide us into the right course, so that we may walk in all singleness and humility of heart, as well as cherish true fervency of spirit and steadfast faith, that it may be said, “I believe, therefore I speak.”
Grant, O my dear Savior, that I may shine as a light and be useful to all about me, never seeking my own but only the salvation and good of others, with sincere love. O that Your love may constrain me in all things! May I please men to win them to You — but never flatter them or pander to their lusts. Teach me to rebuke in love, and whether I commend or blame, may I do it in the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and holy love. Lord, preserve me from all extremes and teach me the happy medium, in all things, and at all times, so shall I correctly represent Your religion.
Father of mercies, send Your grace,
All-powerful from above,
To form in our obedient souls,
The image of Your love.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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