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THE CROSS AND OVERBALANCE.
We are living not only a spiritual life but a bodily life as well, and we are living among those who are also in human bodies, in a world of rightful temporal interests as well as eternal interests. Let us be human. Let us be kind. Let us cultivate certain secular, human interests, that we may have points of contact with the many round us.
Some of the greatest spiritual leaders, the blessedly used ambassadors of Christ, have had hobbies which God has blessed to them and to others. A hobby keeps us in touch with the present-day wonderful world which God made. It gives us something which can be used to catch the interest of another, and through that bring that person to Christ.
We are not to be afraid of healthy amusements of the right sort. If we go with a friend to see or play tennis or a game of football, or if we are watching or playing a game of chess, let us not do so with a lack of real interest. God wants to deliver us from the peril of narrowness of life. If we have any musical ability, let us praise God for it and ask Him prayerfully to enable us to cultivate that ability that He may use our music to His glory. This does not mean that we shall play or sing only hymns. There is plenty of music that God would use to keep us close to our fellows in a joyous, healthy way.
Let us be very careful about social courtesies. Christians whose life-interests are wrapped up in spiritual things are often criticised for carelessness about the little courtesies in their relationships with others. This must not be, it dishonours our Lord. The Christian who is trusting Christ for victory should not be careless about those little niceties of life that indicate good manners, true gentleness and unselfish thoughtfulness for others. The King’s business never requires discourtesy or lack of proper attentiveness to others.
We must not allow the great needs of the world or of the church of Christ to make such demands upon our time and energies that we are taken away from the loved ones in the home circle whom God has entrusted to us as our own supremely precious stewardship. Husbands or wives who have found Christ are sometimes so eager to share this blessing with the greatest possible number that they unconsciously neglect the home, the children or the married partner, upon whom God would have them lavish their love and testimony and care beyond all others. Christians rejoicing in Christ sometimes need to learn first to show love toward their own family, remembering that “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5 v8).
The victorious life is the only all-round life on earth. It is lived by body, mind and spirit and it touches our fellow-beings at proper points of contact with their bodies, minds and spirits.
We shall need to be always on our guard to the attack of the enemy in all the thousand-and-one ways by which he will seek to find a gap in our armour. We are not to think more of Satan than of Christ. We are to recognise the terrible reality of Satan and are to study the Word of God about our Adversary, that we may know all that God wants us to know about him and then we are to look away from Satan to Jesus. For amid “all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who has loved us”, and “thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession, in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (Romans 8 v37 and 2 Cor. 2 v14).
From: ‘The Life That Wins’.
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