And whether one member suffer - As there is a mutual exertion for the general defense, so there is a mutual sympathy. If the eye, the hand, the foot, etc., be injured, the whole man grieves; and if by clothing, or any thing else, any particular member or part is adorned, strengthened, or better secured, it gives a general pleasure to the whole man.
And whether one member suffer - One member, or part of the body.
All the members suffer with it - This, we all know, is the case with the body. A pain in the foot, the hand, or the head excites deep solicitude. The interest is not confined to the part affected; but we feel that we ourselves are affected, and that our body, as a whole, demands our care. The word “suffer” here refers to disease, or sickness. It is true also that not only we feel an “interest” in the part that is affected, but that disease in any one part tends to diffuse itself through, and to affect the whole frame. If not arrested, it is conveyed by the blood through all the members until life itself is destroyed. It is not by mere interest, then, or sympathy, but it is by the natural connection and the inevitable result that a diseased member tends to affect the whole frame. There is not, indeed, in the church the same “physical” connection and “physical” effect, but the union is really not less close and important, nor is it the less certain that the conduct of one member will affect all. It is implied here also, that we should feel a deep interest in the welfare of all the members of the body of Christ. If one is tempted or afflicted, the other members of the church should feel it, and “bear one another‘s burdens, and so fulfil his law.” If one is poor, the others should aid him, and supply his needs; if one is persecuted and opposed for righteousness‘ sake, the others should sympathize with him, and make common cause with him. In all things pertaining to religion and to their mutual welfare, they should feel that they have a common cause, and regard it as a privilege to aid one another. Nor should a man regard it as any more a burden and hardship to aid a poor or afflicted brother in the church, than it should be deemed a hardship that the head, and the heart, and the hands should sympathize when any other member of the body is diseased.
Or one member be honoured - If applied to the body, this means, if one member or part be regarded and treated with special care; be deemed honorable; or be in a sound, healthy, and vigorous condition. If applied to the church, it means, if one of its members should be favored with extraordinary endowments; or be raised to a station of honor and influence above his brethren.
All the members rejoice with it - That is, in the body, all the other members partake of the benefit and honor. If one member be sound and healthy, the benefit extends to all. If the hands, the feet, the heart, the lungs, the brain be in a healthy condition, the advantage is felt by all the members, and all derive advantage from it. So in the church. If one member is favored with remarkable talent, or is raised to a station of influence, and exerts his influence in the cause of Christ, all the members of the church partake of the benefit. It is for the common good; and all should rejoice in it. This consideration should repress envy at the elevation of others, and should lead all the members of a church to rejoice when God, by his direct agency, or by the arrangements of his providence, confers extraordinary endowments, or gives opportunity for extended usefulness to others.
The duty we owe to these persons has been referred to again and again, but no decided action has been taken in reference to it. As a people we should feel our responsibility in this matter. Every church member should feel an interest in all that concerns the human brotherhood and the brotherhood in Christ. We are members one of another; if one member suffers, all the members suffer with him. Something must be done, and the conference should have spiritual discernment, that they may understand the privileges and comforts that these worn-out workers need and deserve. 7T 292.1
Often these ministers need special care and treatment. Our sanitariums should be a refuge for such and for all our worn workers who need rest. Rooms should be provided where they can have a change and rest, without continual anxiety as to how they are to meet the expense. When the disciples were worn with labor, Christ said to them: “Come ye yourselves apart, ... and rest awhile.” Mark 6:31. He would have arrangements made whereby His servants now may have opportunity to rest and recover strength. Our sanitariums are to be open to our hard-working ministers, who have done all in their power to secure funds for the erection and support of these institutions, and at any time when they are in need of the advantages here offered they should be made to feel at home. 7T 292.2Read in context »
Christ Himself Suffers With Suffering Humanity—Christ identifies His interest with that of suffering humanity. He reproved His own nation for their wrong treatment of their fellow men. The neglect or abuse of the weakest, the most erring believers He speaks of as rendered to Himself. The favors shown them are accredited as bestowed upon Himself. He has not left us in darkness concerning our duty, but often repeats the same lessons through different figures and in different lights. He carries the actors forward to the last great day, and declares that the treatment given to the very least of His brethren is commended or condemned as if done to Himself. He says, “Ye did it unto Me,” or, “Ye did it not unto Me.” WM 23.1
He is our substitute and surety; He stands in the place of humanity, so that He Himself is affected as His weakest follower is affected. Such is the sympathy of Christ, which never allows Him to be an indifferent spectator of any suffering caused to His children. Not the slightest wound can be given by word, spirit, or action, that does not touch the heart of Him who gave His life for fallen humanity. Let us bear in mind that Christ is the great heart from which the lifeblood flows to every organ in the body. He is the head, from which extends every nerve to the minutest and remotest member of the body. When one member of that body with which Christ is so mysteriously connected, suffers, the throb of pain is felt by our Saviour. WM 23.2Read in context »
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 »