For I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state.…
I. IT IS A COMMON COMPLAINT AMONGST US THAT WE WANT SYMPATHY.
1. We are lonely, we say; and if not actually solitary, are solitary in heart. The young are too impatient, too imperious in their demand for sympathy; the old are sometimes too tolerant, at least too fond, of isolation.
2. There is much that is fanciful and morbid in the complaint of the young that they have no one like minded. Why cannot that sister make one of her own household the sharer of her troubles and joys? No, that is too tame and commonplace a friendship: nothing but that which is self-made and self-sought has any charms for one who is as yet trying new sources of happiness instead of drinking thankfully of those which God has opened.
II. ST. PAUL GIVES NO ENCOURAGEMENT TO THIS UNGRATEFUL PURSUIT.
1. True, he was a man to whom life without love would have been a daily torture and death. Nor was his a promiscuous love only. Within the universal brotherhood he had his special preferences and close attachments.
2. But his thirst for human love was not the sentimental, purposeless thing it is with many. His best affections were engaged and fixed unalterably. "To me to live is Christ." What he sought in human friendship was not a supreme, nor even subordinate object of affection. He sought sympathy in his work for Christ: the loneliness he bewailed was a loneliness in his care for Christ's people. How this says to us, Away with your little, selfish, earth-born murmurings! So long as your troubles are all selfish they cannot be borne too lonelily.
3. And if sympathy like this be denied you, learn like Paul to be content (Philippians 4:11; Romans 8:31, etc.).
Parallel VersesKJV: For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.