emotional, or spiritual health of others or one's self. In doing so, God is also commanding that we show love, care, and concern for the health of ourselves and others in all of the previously stated aspects.
This commandment, as the entire Second Table of the law, requires a charitable spirit. Most difficult in this regard is the ability to exercise love toward those who, in our opinion, do not deserve it. This is not a fruit produced by our naturally sinful hearts. To love those who mistreat, slander, or despitefully use us is impossible for our self-centered natures; it requires God's grace. Fruits of charity, of one-sided gracious love, reveal the power and beauty of the gospel; they glorify God and the reality of His work in the lives of His children.
The following illustrations provide practical examples and pointers regarding living charitably, especially in showing love to those who have wronged us.
"I'm going to go over to his house and straighten this out right away!" Matt exclaimed angrily to his father. He had just heard that Frank had been giving others untrue and insulting information about him.
"It is good that you go and see him, Matt," his father replied, "but, not now. This sounds like a case of real 'mud-slinging,' and mud always brushes off easier after it has dried."
What did Matt's father mean by this statement? Why is this helpful, practical advice?
A rough soldier attended church for the first time in his life. When introduced to the pastor and asked what led him to church, he told the following story.
"There is a man in our barracks who is a Christian. I and others have teased and mocked him terribly. We gave him a hard time in every way imaginable. But, no more!
"Last week Wednesday we went on a night march in the rain. We got back late and I dropped onto my bed in exhaustion. When I finally got up to undress, I noticed Ron praying on his knees at his bedside. Quietly I got the attention of the others, and taking off a wet boot, I threw it at him across the room. It hit him in the back and we all snickered, but he continued praying. I threw the second
A living sermon can speak where a spoken sermon is not heard. How does this story illustrate this truth?