Those members - which seem to be more feeble - These, and the less honorable and uncomely, mentioned in the next verses, seem to mean the principal viscera, such as the heart, lungs, stomach, and intestinal canal. These, when compared with the arms and limbs, are comparatively weak; and some of them, considered in themselves, uncomely and less honorable; yet these are more essential to life than any of the others. A man may lose an eye by accident, and an arm or a leg may be amputated, and yet the body live and be vigorous; but let the stomach, heart, lungs, or any of the viscera be removed, and life becomes necessarily extinct. Hence these parts are not only covered, but the parts in which they are lodged are surrounded, ornamented, and fortified for their preservation and defense, on the proper performance of whose functions life so immediately depends.
Which seem to be more feeble - Weaker than the rest; which seem less able to bear fatigue and to encounter difficulties; which are more easily injured, and which become more easily affected with disease. It is possible that Paul may here refer to the brain, the lungs, the heart, etc., as more feeble in their structure, and more liable to disease than the hands and the feet, etc., and in reference to which disease is more dangerous and fatal.
Are more necessary - The sense seems to be this. A man can live though the parts and members of his body which are more strong were removed; but not if those parts which are more feeble. A man can live if his arm or his leg be amputated; but not if his brain, his lungs or his heart be removed. So that, although these parts are more feeble, and more easily injured, they are really more necessary to life, and therefore more useful than the more vigorous portions of the frame. Perhaps the idea is - and it is a beautiful thought - that those members of the church which are most retiring and feeble apparently which are concealed from public view, unnoticed and unknown - the humble. the meek, the peaceful, and the prayerful - are often more necessary to the true welfare of the church than those who are eminent for their talent and learning. And it is so. The church can better spare many a man, even in the ministry, who is learned, and eloquent, and popular, than some obscure and humble Christian, that is to the church what the heart and the lungs are to the life. the one is strong. vigorous, active, like the hands or the feet, and the church often depends on them; the other is feeble, concealed, yet vital, like the heart or the lungs. The vitality of the church could be continued though the man of talent and learning should be removed; as the body may live when the arm or the leg is amputated; but that vitality could not continue if the saint of humble and retiring piety, and of fervent prayerfulness, were removed, any more than the body can live when there is no heart and no lungs.
We cannot all have the same minds nor cherish the same ideas; but one is to be a benefit and blessing to the other, that where one lacks, another may supply what is requisite. You have certain deficiencies of character and natural biases that render it profitable for you to be brought in contact with a mind differently organized, in order to properly balance your own. Instead of superintending so exclusively, you should consult with your wife and arrive at joint decisions. You do not encourage independent effort on the part of your family; but if your specific directions are not scrupulously carried out, you too frequently find fault with the delinquents. 4T 128.1
Were your wife and other members of your family without tact or skill, you would be more excusable in taking the reins so entirely into your own hands; but this not being the case, your course is altogether unwarrantable. After you have kindly informed them concerning your views of cooking and the management of household matters, and intimated what your desires are in this respect, go no further, but let them use your suggestions as they choose. They will be much more likely to be pleasantly influenced to please you than if you resorted to peremptory measures. And even if they do not adapt themselves to your opinions, do not persist in ruling, in having everything done in your own way. You must remember that the natural independence of others should be respected. If your wife does her work in a way convenient to herself, you have no right to interfere with her affairs and fret and burden her with your many suggestions and reflections upon her management. 4T 128.2
You have many good and generous traits of character. You are a courteous, affable man, in general, to those outside your own family. Perhaps this is attributable, in some measure, to the fact that you dare not exhibit your natural disposition to any except those whom you consider greatly your inferiors. If your superiority is not sufficiently recognized in society, you are determined that it shall be at home, where you think that none will presume to dispute its claims. 4T 129.1Read in context »
In our work we must consider the relation that each worker sustains to the other workers connected with the cause of God. We must remember that others as well as ourselves have a work to do in connection with this cause. We must not bar the mind against counsel. In our plans for the carrying forward of the work, our mind must blend with other minds. TM 500.1
Let us cherish a spirit of confidence in the wisdom of our brethren. We must be willing to take advice and caution from our fellow laborers. Connected with the service of God, we must individually realize that we are parts of a great whole. We must seek wisdom from God, learning what it means to have a waiting, watching spirit, and to go to our Saviour when tired and depressed. TM 500.2
It is a mistake to withdraw from those who do not agree with our ideas. This will not inspire our brethren with confidence in our judgment. It is our duty to counsel with our brethren, and to heed their advice. We are to seek their counsel, and when they give it, we are not to cast it away, as if they were our enemies. Unless we humble our hearts before God, we shall not know His will. TM 500.3Read in context »
If one member of Christ's household falls into temptation, the other members are to look after him with kindly interest, seeking to arrest the feet that are straying into false paths, and win him to a pure, holy life. This service God requires from every member of His church (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). TDG 147.3Read in context »