Chapter 16

On Bearing with the Faults of Others

Whatever a man is unable to correct in himself or in others, he should bear patiently until God ordains otherwise. Consider, it is perhaps better thus, for the testing of our patience, without which our merits are of little worth. Whenever such obstacles confront you, pray to God that He may grant you His help, and give you grace to endure them in good heart.(Matt.6:13)

If anyone who has been once or twice warned remains obdurate, do not argue with him, but commit all things to God, that His will may be done, and His Name hallowed in all His servants; for He knows well how to bring good out of evil(Gen.50:20) Strive to be patient; bear with the faults and frailties of others, for you, too, have many faults which others have to bear. If you cannot mould yourself as you would wish, how can you expect other people to be entirely to your liking? For we require other people to be perfect, but do not correct our own faults.

We wish to see others severely reprimanded; yet we are unwilling to be corrected ourselves. We wish to restrict the liberty of others, but are not willing to be denied anything ourselves. We wish others to be bound by rules, yet we will not let ourselves be bound. It is amply evident, therefore, that we seldom consider our neighbour in the same light as ourselves. Yet, if all men were perfect, what should we have to bear with in others for Christ's sake?

Now, God has thus ordered things that we may learn to bear one another's burdens;(Gal.6:2) for there is no man without his faults, none without his burden.(Gal.6:5) None is sufficient in himself;(2Cor.3:5) none is wise in himself;(Prov.3:7) therefore we must support one another,(Col.3:13) comfort(I Thess 5:11), help, teach, and advise one another. Times of trouble best discover the true worth of a man; they do not weaken him, but show his true nature.

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