[June 22]
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. I John 4:21
AS PERFECT love casts out fear, so also it casts out false impressions of evil doing or intention toward us. The benevolent heart, full of love for others, will rather prefer to suppose that slights are unintentional oversights, or to put some other similar good construction upon the conduct of their friends, only yielding to an appreciation of persecution when its intention is unmistakable. Even then it should think generously of the persecutor, realize his share in the fall, and be disposed to pray for those who despitefully use them and persecute them. Blessed are such ones who thus hold to righteousness and the spirit of love toward their enemies and persecutors, and who may be sure, therefore, that they are being persecuted for the fidelity to truth and righteousness and not for personal idiosyncracies and peculiarities. Blessed are they, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The Lord is looking for those who are so faithful to the principles of righteousness that they will exercise it toward their enemies even when being persecuted by them and on its account. If the kingdom of heaven is for such it is assuredly but a little flock. Let us strive the more diligently to be of that little flock—to make our calling and election sure. Z'06-74 R3736:2(Hymn 296)