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|Witnesses Unto Me||JUNE 21|
RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR NEIGHBORS
If you have warned the righteous man not to sin and he has not sinned, then he will have saved his life because he has been warned, and you will have saved yourself. Eze. 3:27, N.E.B.
This passage of Scripture reveals a basic moral principle: Man is responsible. He will be judged accordingly. The text speaks of the influence we have on people. God holds us responsible for it. We are to turn men from self-indulgence, unfaithfulness, and sin, to the high and holy way of following Christ. In every life we meet we exercise an influence for good or ill, for obedience or disobedience, for purity or impurity, for humility or pride. Every plant and tree that grows is affected by its soil and environment. There is no way we can escape our responsibility.
Often we dismiss our influence as of little account. If our minds are set shallow, if our lives are superficial, if we lack integrity, all this soils the lives of our children. The moment we belong to Christ we become responsible for the influence we have upon members of our family, upon our neighbors and our friends. In the judgment men will stand up and praise us for our influence of love that turned their feet toward God.
There is one law for every class—for the rich and the poor, the ignorant and the educated. This matter of influence presses upon us the responsibility for saving men as far as it is possible. Christ requires of us purity, integrity, love, and all the other qualities found in Him. Unchastity, injustice, greed, hostility, dishonesty, in professed Christians have never won anyone to Christ or to the truth. They have driven men away. Let another man enrich himself at our expense, deal unjustly with us, attempt to degrade our children, reject us in anger or isolate us: this kind of professing Christian invariably leads away from Christ and the gospel of salvation.
If we keep close to Christ, walk with God day by day, we find it easy and natural to be patient, loving, honest, and unselfish. Has not Christ come into our lives to make us Christlike? As we consider those Christlike Christians we know, are we not grateful and happy for the influence they have upon us? Their image akin to Christ came to be transferred to our minds and can never be erased.
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