“LOVING OUR NEIGHBOR

“Many of the truly regenerate, fall short of loving their neighbor as Scripture requires! It is true, they love the godly because God loves them and because they love God in Christ. They have affections for other believers, their heart goes out toward them, they rejoice when they perceive the godly in their essential nature; but when it comes to their deeds, it is manifest how weak their love is. They keep to themselves and it is as if all others were strangers to them, or they exercise fellowship with only one or with but a few, and ignore others. If one of the godly has a fault, they will immediately render his godliness suspect. If he is perceived as a challenge to us and he does not act according to our wishes, then displeasure, wrath, strife, and backbiting surface, and one gives him the cold shoulder—acting as if their spiritual life did not proceed from one and the same Spirit. And in regard to the unconverted, where is the heartfelt affection for them? Where is the joy about their prosperity, the grief over their mishaps, and the exercise concerning their spiritual and physical welfare?”

“It ought indeed to be investigated why it is that there is so little love among the godly, so that everyone would be motivated to remove the causes of his lack of fervent love which he perceives within himself, and thus enhance his progress in the exercise of love.”

 By Wilhelmus à Brakel, “Struggles With Loving Our Neighbor,” www.theoldguys.org.

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