Once again I ask, Why must this be so? And my answer is: Without this we cannot live
the daily life of love.
How often, when we speak about the consecrated life, we have to speak about temper,
and some people have sometimes said: “You make too much of temper.”
I do not think we can make too much of it. Think for a moment of a clock and of what
its hands mean. The hands tell me what is within the clock, and if I see that the hands stand
still, or that the hands point wrong, or that the clock is slow or fast, I say that something
inside the clock is not working properly. And temper is just like the revelation that the clock
gives of what is within. Temper is a proof whether the love of Christ is filling the heart, or
not. How many there are who find it easier in church, or in prayer-meeting, or in work for
the Lord—diligent, earnest work—to be holy and happy than in the daily life with wife and
children; easier to be holy and happy outside the home than in it! Where is the love of God?
In Christ. God has prepared for us a wonderful redemption in Christ, and He longs to make
something supernatural of us. Have we learned to long for it, and ask for it, and expect it in
Then there is the tongue! We sometimes speak of the tongue when we talk of the better
life, and the restful life, but just think what liberty many Christians give to their tongues.
They say: “I have a right to think what I like.”
When they speak about each other, when they speak about their neighbors, when they
speak about other Christians, how often there are sharp remarks! God keep me from saying
anything that would be unloving; God shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love.
But what I am saying is a fact. How often there are found among Christians who are banded
together in work, sharp criticism, sharp judgment, hasty opinion, unloving words, secret
contempt of each other, secret condemnation of each other! Oh, just as a mother’s love
covers her children and delights in them and has the tenderest compassion with their foibles
or failures, so there ought to be in the heart of every believer a motherly love toward every
brother and sister in Christ. Have you aimed at that? Have you sought it? Have you ever
pleaded for it? Jesus Christ said: “As I have loved you . . . love one another” (John 13:34).
And He did not put that among the other commandments, but He said in effect: “That is a new commandment, the one commandment: Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
It is in our daily life and conduct that the fruit of the Spirit is love. From that there comes
all the graces and virtues in which love is manifested: joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness,
goodness; no sharpness or hardness in your tone, no unkindness or selfishness; meekness
before God and man. You see that all these are the gentler virtues. I have often thought as
I read those words in Colossians, “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved,
bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering” (Col. 3:12),
that if we had written this, we should have put in the foreground the manly virtues, such as
zeal, courage, and diligence; but we need to see how the gentler, the most womanly virtues
are especially connected with dependence upon the Holy Spirit. These are indeed heavenly
graces. They never were found in the heathen world. Christ was needed to come from
Heaven to teach us. Your blessedness is long suffering, meekness, kindness; your glory is
humility before God. The fruit of the Spirit that He brought from Heaven out of the heart
of the crucified Christ, and that He gives in our heart, is first and foremost—love.
You know what John says: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another,
God dwelleth in us” (1 John 4:12). That is, I cannot see God, but as a compensation I can
see my brother, and if I love him, God dwells in me. Is that really true? That I cannot see
God, but I must love my brother, and God will dwell in me? Loving my brother is the way
to real fellowship with God. You know what John further says in that most solemn test, “If
a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother
whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20). There is
a brother, a most unlovable man. He worries you every time you meet him. He is of the very
opposite disposition to yours. You are a careful businessman, and you have to do with him
in your business. He is most untidy, unbusiness-like. You say: “I cannot love him.”
Oh, friend, you have not learned the lesson that Christ wanted to teach above everything.
Let a man be what he will, you are to love him. Love is to be the fruit of the Spirit all the day
and every day. Yes, listen! If a man loves not his brother whom he hath seen—if you don’t
love that unlovable man whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not
seen? You can deceive yourself with beautiful thoughts about loving God. You must prove
your love to God by your love to your brother; that is the one standard by which God will
judge your love to Him. If the love of God is in your heart you will love your brother. The
fruit of the Spirit is love.
And what is the reason that God’s Holy Spirit cannot come in power? Is it not possible?
You remember the comparison I used in speaking of the vessel. I can dip a little water
into a potsherd, a bit of a vessel; but if a vessel is to be full, it must be unbroken. And the
children of God, wherever they come together, to whatever church or mission or society
they belong, must love each other intensely, or the Spirit of God cannot do His work. We
talk about grieving the Spirit of God by worldliness and ritualism and formality and error
and indifference, but, I tell you, the one thing above everything that grieves God’s Spirit is
this lack of love. Let every heart search itself, and ask that God may search it.