We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1.
What we all need is a more pure, Christlike sympathy; not sympathy for those who are perfect—they do not need it—but sympathy for poor, suffering, struggling souls who are often overtaken in fault, sinning and repenting, tempted and discouraged. The effect of grace is to soften and subdue the soul. Then all this cold unapproachableness is melted, subdued, and Christ appears.
The love of God alone can open and expand the heart, and give to love and sympathy a breadth and height that is without measure. Those who love Jesus will love all the children of God. The sense of personal infirmities and imperfections will lead the human agent to look away from self to Christ; and the Saviour’s love will break down every cold, Pharisaical barrier, it will banish all harshness and selfishness, and there will be a blending of soul with soul, even with those who are opposite in temperament.
The goodness and forbearance of God, His self-sacrificing love to sinful men, must lead all who discern His grace to manifest the same, to give sympathy liberally to others. The wonderful example of the life of Christ, the matchless tenderness with which He entered into the feelings of the oppressed soul, weeping with those that wept, rejoicing with all that rejoiced in His love, must have a deep influence upon the character of all who love God and keep His commandments.
They will give sympathy, not grudgingly but liberally; by kindly words and acts they will try to make the path just as easy for weary feet as they desire the path to be made for their feet. As we receive daily and hourly the blessing of God, we can do no less to show our gratitude than to have a kindly, unselfish interest in those for whom Christ has died. Have we blessings? Yes, we have. Well, Christ says, Pass them along to others, not to a favored few, but to all with whom we come in contact. We must give grace for grace.53Letter 78, 1894.