1 Thessalonians 5:15
See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Ever follow that which is good among yourselves and to all —
1. In political effort men can unite, and so they ought in religious; for religion means the link which binds men for good work. Is it more important to put one's political friends in Parliament than to win one's neighbours for heaven?
2. Remember the unwearied diligence of political partizans. All, one cannot help regretting that Christians are less earnest.
3. In politics men will give up their dearly loved crotchets to promote the welfare of the general party. Why not, then, sink our individualism in following that which is good? We are to ever do so —
I. IN BUILDING UP OUR OWN CHARACTER.
1. It is easier to do good than to be good. We are so apt to be discouraged by many failures. We have wished to grow in goodness like a tree, but we have more to contend with than a tree. We promise well in bud and leaf, and then the fruit does not ripen, and we get discouraged. Some of us have done worse. We have put forth the bud of innocence, but the blossom of virtue has been nipped by the frost of misfortune, or the blast of temptation, and we have given up. To all such let this exhortation come with power. Still set your face towards the good. Try again. Will you throw away your coat because it is soiled? Would you have your child despair of writing because he has upset the ink?
2. In following the good let us aim high. To copy from another may help us a little; but we shall make the surest progress if we follow only Christ. We teach children writing by setting the best copy before them. If we fall today, let us arise today and follow Him.
II. IN THE CHURCH. Every Church should be a missionary society, and when a new member is received something should be found for him to do. It is true you cannot find a perfect Church; but this should not dishearten you. Go into an organ factory — what a horrible din! Yes; but what is the result? The Church is an organ factory. All our pipes have to be made and tuned. But if we are in earnest we shall not care for the discord; the instrument will one day play harmonious music. In battle, if a general see a brigade hardly pressed he orders out another to support it. So, if the Church's battalion in the slums is weak, the battalion in the suburbs should hasten to its help. Let us by our example make the Church vigorous and good. If the prayer meeting is good, the Lord's supper, etc., follow them. Be as regular and earnest in Church duty as though you were paid for it.
III. IN THE WORLD. Lift up your voices against war. Working men uphold arbitration against strikes. Do not blame statesmen for making war, when master and man fight and ruin one another.
IV. IN YOUR OWN NEIGHBOURHOOD. There is much that you can do there. Conclusion:
1. Persevere in following the good.
2. Let your motive be the love of Christ.
3. If you keep following the good, your works will follow you.
Parallel VersesKJV: See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.