And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32.
We must learn to place the best possible construction upon doubtful conduct of others…. If we are ever suspecting evil we are in danger of creating what we allow ourselves to suspect…. We cannot pass along without sometimes having our feelings hurt and our temper tried, but as Christians we must be just as patient, forbearing, humble, and meek as we desire others to be. Oh, how many thousand good acts and deeds of kindness that we receive … pass from the mind like dew before the sun, while imaginary or real injury leaves an impression which it is next to impossible to efface! The very best example to give to others is to be right ourselves, and then leave ourselves, our reputation, with God and not show too great anxiety to right every wrong impression and present our case in a favorable light….
The neglect to cultivate tender consideration and forbearance for one another has caused dissension, distrust, faultfinding, and general disunion. God … calls upon us to put away this great sin and to strive to answer the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father…. It is the special work of Satan to cause dissension, … that the world should be deprived of the most powerful testimony Christians can give it that God has sent His Son to bring into harmony turbulent, proud, envious, jealous, bigoted minds….
The truth of God is not designed merely to deal with errors and vices…. The truth is designed to sanctify the receiver, to fashion and mold the entire man, externally as well as internally, by abasing pride and disposing his heart to be kind and amiable and condescending. Yes, the religion of Christ is a system of the truest politeness, and its triumphs are complete when a world may look on a people professing godliness with a united front, believers showing habitual tenderness of feeling and kindness of deportment and sincere regard for the reputation of each other.36Letter 25, 1870.