Morning & Evening Devotional Reading– September 11– Evening
by Charles H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by William C. Neff
“Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies.”
How bitter is the hatred of the world against the people of Christ! Men will forgive a thousand faults in others, but they will magnify the most trivial offense in the followers of Jesus. Instead of uselessly regretting this, let us use it for good purpose. Since so many are watching for Christians to stumble, let this provide a special motivation for us to walk more carefully before God.
If we live carelessly, the world will soon see it as with the eyes of a hawk, and, with its hundred tongues, it will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander. They will shout triumphantly: “Aha! Look at this! See how these Christians act! They are all hypocrites.” In this way, great damage is done to the cause of Christ, and much insult is offered against his name.
The cross of Christ is in itself an offense to the world; so, let us be careful not to add unnecessary offense of our own. To the religious Jewish mind, the cross is an obstacle that trips them up, so let’s not put additional stumbling blocks in their way. To the philosophical Greeks, the cross is “foolishness,” so let’s not add our folly to give them more reason to scorn and deride the gospel.
How carefully we should watch ourselves! How rigid we should be with our own consciences! In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds and impugn our best motives, how careful we should live. We are peculiar people under surveillance, and there are more spies than we know of. The espionage is everywhere, at home and abroad. If we fall into the enemies’ hands we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf or mercy from a demon. We shouldn’t expect patience with our shortcomings from men who spice their infidelity towards God with scandals against his people. O Lord, lead us every step of the way, and don’t let our enemies trip us up! [M&E]