“Confess Your Faults One to Another”—James 5:16
“What a wonderful teacher of the Word of God! He exalted Christ; he edified the saints; he strengthened the weak, encouraged the depressed, and stirred the indolent. Nevertheless, he was defeating the purpose of his ministry. His sarcasm and derogatory though humourous remarks were enkindling resentment and resistance in the minds of many of his listeners.”
The aged speaker was indulging in reminiscences, he was reliving a trying episode of more than three decades.
A very capable and forceful preacher had been invited to lecture at a Bible conference. Expectations had been great, and hopes high, but because of a personal fault in this guest speaker, the value of his ministry was being lost.
“One evening after we had returned home,” continued the speaker, “I decided to talk to him. I told him frankly what I thought, and although he said little, I detected the cloud that covered his formerly cheerful countenance.
“The next morning he was somewhat tardy in making his appearance for breakfast. Before we sat down at the table, he gently drew me out into the hallway, and said, ‘Last night when you spoke to me, I knew that you were right, but I was very angry, and decided to leave. I was so determined that before I went to bed, I packed my luggage. I slept little, but when I awoke this morning, an inward voice challenged me; it seemed to say, You can give it to others but you cannot take it. You do not like when your feelings are hurt, but you expect others to be tolerant when their feelings are hurt. You had better apologize so that you may accomplish that for which you came!
“‘I do sincerely apologize, and by God’s grace, there will be no more complaints of this sort. I am sorry to be late for breakfast, but I have been unpacking my suitcases.’”