"Hope all things about your brethren"

My friend Phil over at Thinklings posted a semi-long Spurgeon passage that I love. Go read it here.

Here's one of my favorite parts:

Love's third great labour is in "hoping all things." Love never despairs. She believes in good things yet to come in her fellow-men, even if she cannot believe in any present good in them. Hope all things about your brethren. Suppose a friend is a member of the church, and you cannot see any clear signs of grace in him, hope all things about him. Many true believers are weak in faith, and the operations of grace are dim in them; and some are placed in positions where the grace they have is much hindered and hampered: let us take these things into consideration. It is hard to tell how little grace may yet suffice for salvation: it is not ours to judge.


This reminds me of the Lewisian idea (from God in the Dock) of only God knowing how much work grace has done in someone's life. Is someone a curmudgeon? Lewis would say, then perhaps with Christ they're much less of a curmudgeon than they would have been without Christ. Sanctification is a beautiful thing. And one of the paradoxes of Christianity -- and oh how I truly love the paradoxes -- is that we are sanctified and we are holy, yet we are being sanctified and we are called to be holy.

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