The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 16, sermon number 941, "The tender pity of the Lord.""If you cannot bear with your imperfect brother, take it for certain that you are very imperfect yourself."
For what are we! we cannot turn any to righteousness—the Lord alone can do that, but if by imperfect instruments you are blessed to the saving of your souls, you ought never again to be out of patience with imperfect people. Remember also that you are imperfect yourself. You can see great faults in others; but, my dear brother, be sure to look in the looking glass every morning and you will see quite as many faults, or else your eyes are weak. If that looking glass were to show you your own heart you would never dare look again, I fear you would even break the glass.
Old John Berridge, as odd as he was good, had a number of pictures of different ministers round his room, and he had a looking glass in a frame to match. He would often take his friend into the room and say, “That is Calvin, that is John Bunyan,” and when he took him up to the looking glass he would add, “and that is the devil.” “Why,” the friend would say, “it is myself.” “Ah,” said he, “there is a devil in us all.”
Being so imperfect we ought not to condemn. Remember also that if we are not patient and forbearing there is clear proof that we are more imperfect than we thought we were. Those who grow in grace grow in forbearance. He is but a mere babe in grace who is evermore saying, “I cannot put up with such conduct from my brother.” My dear brother, you are bound even to wash the disciples’ feet.
If you know yourself, and were like your Master, you would have the charity which hopeth all things and endureth all things. Remember that your brethren and sisters in Christ, with whom you find so much fault, are God’s elect for all that, and if he chose them, why do you reject them? They are bought with Christ’s blood, and if he thought them worth so much, why do you think so little of them?
Recollect, too, that with all their badness there are some good points in them in which they excel you. They do not know so much, but perhaps they act better. It may be that they are more faulty in pride, but perhaps they excel you in generosity; or if perhaps one man is a little quick in temper, yet he is more zealous than you. Look at the bright side of your brother, and the black side of yourself, instead of reversing the order as many do.
Remember there are points about every Christian from which you may learn a lesson. Look to their excellences, and imitate them. Think, too, that small as the faith of some of your brethren is, it will grow, and you do not know what it will grow to. Though they be now so sadly imperfect, yet if they are the Lord’s people, think of what they will be one day.
O brethren and sisters, shall we know them? shall we know ourselves when we once get to heaven, and are made like our Lord? There, my brother, though you are a quarrelsome man, I will not quarrel with you; I am going to live in heaven with you, and I will keep out of your way till then. I will not find fault with you, my friend, if I can help it, because you will be one day without fault before the throne of God. If God will so soon remove your faults, why should I take note of them? I will not peevishly complain of the rough stone, for I see it is under the Great Artist’s chisel, and I will tarry till I see the beauty which he brings out of it.