As I sat confessing my sins today, I was humbled by the black and whiteness of my world and how easy it is for me to see the speck in my brother’s eye. This was brought home for me in two ways recently, one in the Spurgeon quote which Pastor Ray Ortlund (the son) posted and which follows. The other came in a discussion with a dear saint who may have similar tendencies but who decided, “I don’t want to be that person.” That phrase has hit its mark and I hope, too, to amend my discernment to bring life, when possible, and not just find fault.
“We should be merciful to one another in seeking never to look at the worst side of a brother’s character. Oh, how quick some are to spy out other people’s faults! They hear that Mr. So-and-so is very useful in the church, and they say, ‘Yes, he is, but he has a very curious way of going to work, has he not? And he is so eccentric.’ Well, did you ever know a good man who was very successful, who was not a little eccentric? . . .
Do you go out when the sun is shining brightly and say, ‘Yes, this sun is a very good illuminator, but I remark that it has spots’? If you do, you had better keep your remark to yourself, for it gives more light than you do, whatever spots you may have or may not have. And many excellent persons in the world have spots, but yet they do good service to God and to their age.
So let us not always be the spot-finders, but let us look at the bright side of the brother’s character rather than the dark one, and feel that we rise in repute when other Christians rise in repute, and that, as they have honor through their holiness, our Lord has the glory of it, and we share in some of the comfort of it.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
Treasury of the New Testament
(Grand Rapids, n.d.), I:65.