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Living as Relatives to Humankind

By A.W. Tozer


      We human beings were made for each other, and what any of us is doing at any time cannot be a matter of indifference to the rest of us. On the human plane all men are brothers. The Son of Man never denied this sweet tie with humankind. Over a stubborn and sinful Jerusalem He frankly shed tears and, in the hour of death, prayed for men who were so blind as to nail their God on a tree. And Paul, who burned always to be like his Lord, wept over the unbelieving Israel with an anguish that goaded him to an utterance so daring as to cause the ages to wonder: "I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh." Peace of heart that is won by refusing to bear the common yoke of human sympathy is a peace unworthy of a Christian. To seek tranquility by stopping our ears to the cries of human pain is to make ourselves not Christians but a kind of degenerate stoic having no relation either to stoicism or Christianity. We Christians should never try to escape from the burdens and woes of life among men. The hermit and the anchorite sound good in poetry, but stripped of their artificial romance, they are not good examples of what the followers of Christ should be. True peace comes not by a retreat from the world but by the overpowering presence of Christ in the heart. "Christ in you" is the answer to our cry for peace. The Salvation Army lassie distributing gospel literature in a saloon is a better example of the separated life than a prim and cold-faced saint who has long ago fled the world to take refuge in the barren caverns of her soul.

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