Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification.…
I. ITS NECESSITY. All need it.
1. Some have yet to be built. Children, e.g., have unformed characters which require to be formed.
2. Some are built awry. Many young men have characters malformed, and the task is to get them into form.
3. Some have tumbled down. There are those whose character is a wreck, and the work in their case is one of reformation.
II. ITS MEANS. The builder must conform to law. The great principles on which successful building depends must be "pleased." Outrage the laws of gravitation, proportion, etc., and the builder will labour in vain.
1. For the want of "pleasing" them —
(1) Some are never built at all. With the best of intentions, abundant materials, and assiduous efforts, a builder may erect a heap instead of an edifice. How much advice, instruction, etc., are expended on a child, only to be thrown away because expended in a repulsive form 1(2) Others are pulled down. When a man has gone wrong, instead of trying to put him straight in the proper way, his "friends" often take him to pieces.
(3) When character has been ruined, instead of collecting and re-building the ruins, how often is it that they are scattered beyond recovery! Harsh sensures, cutting sarcasms, so-called "plain truths" never yet succeeded in reforming a broken character.
2. In each case the one thing needful is to give pleasure. Put a child, a youth, a man in good humour, give him hope, persuade him that duty is delightful, and the work of construction or reconstruction is almost half accomplished.The application is —
1. To parents.
2. To preachers.
3. To teachers.
(J. W. Burn.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.