Expecting Too Much Of Fellow Saints
-- J. W. N. (from "Help and Food")

This needs to be put before the people of God, and their attention called to it. It is strange, but we are always looking for a sort of perfection in our fellow believers. The Word of God, while providing for a life of faithfulness, shows us the failures of the most illustrious saints, and reminds us that "in many things we all offend;" and yet we are so surprised and disappointed when failure comes. It would save us all a great deal of disappointment if we would not expect so much from our brethren -- if we were prepared for things to turn out very differently from what we expected, and from what we think is the right way. We need to remember that our way may not be God's way; that whatever the failure on man's part or on His people's part, He cannot fail. 

Too often we are so much taken up with the failures of others that we forget the faithfulness of our God. We think so much of what is being done down here, that our hearts and eyes get off from what He is up there. Our God never fails, never changes. His Word and truth are always the same. We can turn away from all here below and should do so often, and fix our eyes on the things up there where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. The Man in the glory should so fill our eyes and fix our hearts, that the things of earth, failure and sin, would not move us as they often do. We would then have the priestly power of intercession, and perhaps be used in restoring one who had been "overtaken in a fault." 

It makes a great difference whether we are in communion with the Lord about the failures of fellow Christians. To dwell on them apart from communion with Him is great loss to the soul. Many are thereby ensnared and their peace destroyed, their usefulness hindered or ruined entirely. Satan likes nothing better than to get saints to thinking of the failures of others, occupied with them so as to forget the power, grace, and love of God. From this comes much of that backbiting, gossip and whispering which so often grieve the Holy Spirit of God.