Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted—Gal. 6: 1.
Let us learn well this lesson of reproving others very gently, very considerately, kindly, by a hint rather than a direct charge and detail of the wrong—by an inquiry respecting the present condition of their hearts rather than respecting a former condition, in which we know they have erred. We are to be less careful for the punishments that will follow wrongdoing than for the recovery of the erring one out of the error of his way. We are not to attempt to judge and punish one another for misdeeds, but rather to remember that all this is in the hands of the Lord; we are not in any sense of the word to avenge ourselves or to give any chastisement or recompense for evil.
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To err is human, hence all commit faults. Helpfully to reprove is Divine, therefore but few can exercise this grace. Only the advanced Christian who has proper knowledge, love and self-control is capable of exercising well this office, and in his endeavor to help others, he must watch himself very carefully, lest while reproving others he himself should be found in fault.
Parallel passages: Isa. 57: 15; Rom. 15: 1, 7; 1Cor. 8: 9, 11; 9: 22; Heb. 12: 13; Jas. 5: 19, 20; Prov. 24: 16; 28: 5; Rom. 8: 9, 14, 15; 1Cor. 4: 21; 2Thes. 3: 15; 2Tim. 2: 25; 1Cor. 10: 12.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they accepted? What were the results?
THE NEW LEAF
HE came to my desk with a quivering lip—
The lesson was done—
"Dear teacher, I want a new leaf," he said,
"I have spoiled this one."
In place of the leaf, so stained and blotted,
I gave him a new one, all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled—
"Do better now, my child."
I went to the throne with a quivering soul—
The old year was done—
"Dear Father, hast Thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one, all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled—
"Do better now, My child."
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