Love … thinketh no evil—1 Cor. 13: 5.
Whoever neglects the Lord's commands along this line of "evil surmisings" weaves a web for his own ensnarement, however "circumspectly" he may walk as respects other matters; for a heart impregnated with doubt and suspicion toward fellow creatures is more than half prepared to doubt God: the spirit of sourness and bitterness is at war with the spirit of the Lord, the spirit of love. Either the one or the other will conquer. The wrong spirit must be gotten rid of, or it will defile the Christian and make of him a "castaway." On the contrary, if the new nature conquer, as an "overcomer," it will be along this line: if evil surmisings are overcome, half the battle against present difficulties and besetments is won.
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Love in its ultimate analysis is good will, a good will, however, which expresses itself variously as circumstances require. When its possessor is wronged he gives the wrongdoer credit for good motives, though his knowledge may have been deficient. Such a spirit cannot harbor suspicion, nor will it to another's disadvantage put an evil construction upon another's words and acts.
Parallel passages: Matt. 9: 3, 4, 33-35; Prov. 10: 12; 24: 17; Psa. 119: 139; Acts 11: 23; 1John 3: 14; 4: 7, 8; 2John 4; 1Tim. 6: 4; 1Pet. 1: 22; 4: 8; 3: 8; Col. 3: 2-14.
Questions: Have I been lovingly unsuspicious or not this week? What helped or hindered? What resulted?
IF WE ONLY UNDERSTOOD
COULD we draw aside the curtains
That surround each other's lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives—
Often we would find it better, Purer
than we judge we would;
We would love each other better
If we only understood.
Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o'erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other's errors
With more patient charity.
If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments—
Understood the loss and gain—
Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same?
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?
Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life's hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we'd love each other better
If we only understood.
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