"Meet Souls In Grace"
The apostle Paul has shown elsewhere--and we should
always endeavour to remember it--that it is a wise and important
thing to meet souls in grace as far as possible; and not to impose
upon others what they have not strength to bear.
In writing to the Corinthians, the apostle had
insisted on this, as his ministry exemplified it. He had become
a Jew to the Jews, that he might gain the Jews. He was made all
things to all men, that he might by all means save some. There
was no kind of pressing points. There was the hearty desire for
the good of souls; for we may have this without the pressure of
our own particular thoughts and feelings, however right they may
be. It is the elasticity of the Christian if established in grace.
We rarely can pull the cord too tightly in dealing with our own
souls, or be too stringent in our vigilance and prayer against
slipping here and there. But it is a totally different thing in
having to do with others. We have to bear their infirmities, if,
in truth, we are strong; it is for their good that the Lord lays
them upon our hearts. We find that, even with His own disciples,
He went not beyond what they were able at that time to bear.
But the very desire to meet souls, and not to raise
questions that would gender strife, might expose a gracious Christian
to be taking the color of those outside himself, and giving up
his own principles. On every side, he has to watch. There is no
doubt, then, of the forbearance in which we are called to walk
with one another; nevertheless, we need to beware of turning grace
into levity or licentiousness.