How do you treat others?

"Jesus did not bathe His disciples' feet with scalding water." (Roderick Mackenzie). The significance of this observation in connection with our treatment of other Christians is worth grasping.

Throughout his earthly ministry Jesus dealt with sinners, and welcomed repentant sinners unto himself, giving them spiritual rest and cleansing. Though, or perhaps because of the fact that we continue to get dirty, Christ ministers to his own by applying to them the cleansing word (Ephesians 5) to sanctify them and present them to himself a glorious church.

Now the methodology adopted to achieve this is one of grace: he understands our frame, he knows that we are but dust and ashes. His approach to us must necessarily be gentle and benign, otherwise we would be overwhelmed and come to nothing. "Correct me, O Lord, but not in wrath." Thus Christ brings us to perfection not by unnecessary suffering but by treating us according to his tender mercies.

Since the gospel that brings salvation teaches us to renounce irreligious and worldly passions and to live soberly, we too must treat our fellow-believers the way Christ dealt with us. He forgave; we are therefore bound to forgive. He cleanses us daily; we too are to relate to one another, not for the purpose of hurting each other's sentiments but rather to bring and administer God's healing to each other by gentle admonition, by brotherly rebuke, always in love and with sensitiveness and compassion.

Not to leave a scalding on each other's soul, but to minister grace to our hearers and fellow-brethren.