Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:11-12)

Christian, by the love that God has manifested to you, you are bound to love your fellow Christians. You are to love them though they have many infirmities.

You have some yourself; and if you cannot love one because he has a crusty temper, perhaps he may reply that he cannot love you have a lethargic spirit.

Jesus loved you with all your infirmities; then love your infirm brethren. You tell me you cannot love because you have been offended by such a brother; but you also offended Christ!

What? Shall Christ forgive you all your myriad offenses, and you not forgive your brother? What was it, after all? “Well, he did not treat me respectfully.”

Ah, that is it—a poor worm wants to be treated respectfully! “But he spoke disparagingly of me; and there is a sister here—she may be a Christian woman, but she said a unkind thing of me.”

Well, yes; but what does it matter? I have often thought, when people have spoken ill of me, and they have been very, very false in it, perhaps, if they had known me better.

Then they might have found something true to say, and so I must be like we sometimes say of a boy when he is beaten and does not deserve it: “Well, he did deserve it, some time or other, for something else.”

Rather than get angry, smile over the offense. Who are we, that we should expect everybody to honor us when nobody honored our Lord! Oh, let us be ready at once to forgive even to seventy times seven. ((Charles SpurgeonAt the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], January 21.))

Charles Spurgeon

Further reading