The Building Blocks of Noble Characters
Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:5-7, R.S.V.
Pleasant, kind, and well-bred Christians will have an influence for God and His truth; it cannot be otherwise. The light borrowed from Heaven will shed its brightening rays through them to the pathway of others, leading them to exclaim. “O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man whose strength is in thee.”
The words we speak, our daily deportment, are the fruit growing upon the tree. If the fruit is sour and unpalatable, the rootlets of that tree are not drawing nourishment from a pure source. If our characters are meek and lowly, if our affections are in harmony with our Saviour, we will show that our life is hid with Christ in God, and we leave behind us a bright track. Our life will be in such marked contrast to that of unbelievers, that our associates will discern that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him.
The Christian need not become a recluse; but while necessarily associating with the world, he will not be of the world. Christian politeness should be cultivated, and daily put in practice. That unkind word should be left unspoken; that selfish disregard of the happiness of others should give place to thoughtful sympathy. True courtesy, blended with truth and justice, will make the life not only useful, but beautiful and fragrant with love and good works....
Virtue, honesty, kindness, and faithful integrity make noble characters; those who possess these characteristics will win esteem, even of unbelievers, and their influence in the church will be very precious. We are required to be right in important matters; but faithfulness in little things will fit us for higher positions of trust.
On the part of many, there is a great lack of true courtesy. Much is said of the improvements that have been made since the days of the patriarchs; but those living in that age could boast of a higher state of refinement, and of more true courtesy of manners, than are possessed by the people in this age of boasted enlightenment. Integrity, justice, and Christian kindness, blended, make a beautiful combination. Courtesy is one of the graces of the Spirit. It is an attribute of heaven.
The angels never fly into a passion, never are envious, selfish, and jealous. No harsh or unkind words escape their lips. And if we are to be the companions of angels, we too must be refined and courteous.... A Christian will cultivate that charity that is not easily provoked, that suffereth long and is kind, that hopeth all things, endureth all things.—The Signs of the Times, November 11, 1886.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 307