Slow to suspect — quick to trust.
Slow to condemn — quick to justify.
Slow to offend — quick to defend.
Slow to reprimand — quick to forbear.
Slow to belittle — quick to appreciate.
Slow to demand — quick to give.
Slow to provoke — quick to conciliate.
Slow to hinder — quick to help.
Slow to resent — quick to forgive.
John Stott (The Contemporary Christian) poses the question, ‘What is the chief distinguishing mark of a Christian?’ Various answers might be given:-
1. Truth. Certainly, sound doctrine is vital to the health of the church. See 1 Tim 6:12,20; 2 Thess 1:14; 2 Thess 2:15; Jude 1:3. But ‘if I…can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,…but have not love, I am nothing’ (1 Cor 13:2).…
Baroness Thatcher was a ‘devout Christian’, according to Dr Eliza Filby, author of God and Mrs Thatcher. She regularly attended the parish church at Chequers, regarded the life of Jesus as exemplary, and drew on the Bible to support her political values.
I will not call into question the sincerity of Baroness Thatcher’s faith. But I will, however, comment on one rather glaring (mis)understanding of the teaching of Scripture.
As reported in Christianity magazine (June 2013), Filby says says that in the early 1980s the text “Love thy neighbour” was often appealed to in support of the welfare state. …
A Christian friend of mine was rather allergic to the word ‘nice’. He had noticed how often it creeps into everyday conversation (“That’s nice”; “She’s nice”) and concluded that it is a weak, insipid, non-descript term that has little place in our working vocabulary. My friend rarely used the word himself. And when others used it he would often ask, “What exactly do you mean?”
The trouble is that for many Christians, ‘Thou shalt be nice’ has become the first and greatest commandment. …
I recently heard a true story about a bishop and a dentist. The dentist had just finished fitting the bishop out with a complete set of new teeth. As soon as the dentist had finished, the bishop went over to a mirror. And as looked at himself and inspected his mouthful of fine teeth, he said, “Jesus Christ.” And then again: “Jesus Christ.” The dentist was rather appalled when he heard such profane language coming from a man of the cloth.…
The love that a Christian has for Christ is a practical, as well as an emotional thing. It has its own distinguishing marks.
J.C. Ryle expressed it very well, I think:-
1. If we love a person, we like to think about him. We do not need to be reminded of him. We do not forget his name or his appearance or his character or his opinions or his tastes or his position or his occupation.…