Friday, 4 November 2011

What's Missing?

Very often the best way to see clearly our own situation is to step outside our context. One of the ways we can best see clearly our own times is to listen to those from a different time. This is why reading church history, and books older than 50 years, is so helpful. They help us to step outside our own time and culture that we might look at it all the more clearly.

In his day J. C. Ryle noticed a number of things that were 'missing' from the church of his day. What he says seems to me to be equally as applicable to us as Christians today. What are we missing?
When I look around, I see many things missing among us, which Jesus loves.

I miss the meekness and gentleness of our Master—many of us are harsh, rough-tempered, and overly critical of others, and we flatter ourselves that we are faithful.

I miss real boldness in confessing Christ before men—we often think much more of the time to be silent, than the time to speak.

I miss real humility—not many of us like to take the lowest place, and esteem everyone better than ourselves, and our own strength perfect weakness.

I miss real charity—few of us have that unselfish spirit, which seeks not its own—there are few who are not more taken up with their own feelings and their own happiness than that of others.

I miss real thankfulness of spirit—we complain, and murmur, and fret, and brood over the things we have not, and forget the things we have. We are seldom content.

I miss decided separation from the world—the line of distinction is often rubbed out. Many of us, like the chameleon, are always taking the color of our company we become so like the ungodly, that it strains a man’s eyes to see the difference.

Reader, these things ought not so to be. If we want more hope, let us be zealous regarding good works.