Friday, September 19, 2008

Test of the Spirit

“You cannot tell by the plumage of a bird how it will leap. You cannot always tell by the way a man talks what he is. I would not say that he has it not; but it does not consist in the production of a powerful impression on the imagination. It does not consist in intensity of feeling. It does not consist in the fact that a man has an inspiration which leads him in this exalted way to bear witness. I want to know something more of the quality of his disposition. If I find that where other men are proud his is sweetly humble; that where other men are sharp and harsh he is easy to be entreated; that where others are stingy he is liberal and full of good works; and that where they are dim-eyed he is endowed with intuition, which comes from real faith and love in God; if I find, in looking into the jewel-box of his soul, that one after another of these jewels flashes brighter in him than others, then I say, “Very likely it is there.” He may not make the best proclamation of it; but if I find that there are these signs and tokens of it, I give him credit for possessing it. If, on the other hand, I see a man who goes about trumpeting his own virtue, and seeking praise and admiration for them from everybody he meets; if I find that he is arranging everything for his own benefit, and is living to enjoy himself, and that he is magisterial and imperial, then I come to the conclusion that he is empty; for he that has the indwelling of God, with all gentleness, and meekness, and humility, and tenderness, and pitifulness, and self-subjugation and submission to others, - he needs to bear no testimony…..
Now, I pluck one tea-rose, one blossom of tube-rose, and one sprig of some other odorous flower, and put them in a little wine-glass, and set them in some corner out of the way, and say nothing; and one opens the door, and snuffs, and snuffs, and says, “What have you here? Haven’t you something here?” They know there is something there. It is hidden, but there is no mistaking its fragrance.”

Henry Ward Beecher - Photo by Kelz


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Fred!

A magnificent post!

Some words struck me very powerfully:


This something difficult to practice because of our pride and ego.


These are the normal people we come across every day including me.

Surely your post will touch the hearts of many people who read it and make them think.

Thanks for sharing!

Have a wonderful day!

Mel said...

Hi Fred,

I enjoyed this post, too. It reminds me of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. The King of all kings, Creator of the Universe, humbly washed the gross and dirty feet of his disciples, asking nothing except that they follow His example and wash each others' feet. His majesty and grace was there, and the people around Him sensed it, even though He didn't go around calling attention to it except by showing through acts of love. I pray we will allow God's love to flow through us in a humble unassuming way, so that people will be able to catch the "scent" of His presence through our love for them.

Thanks, Fred. You're awesome!

fcb4 said...

Profound in its simplicity.

Imagine if this path was our testimony. I pray to God it will be more and more as believers and churches.

But what I rejoice in even more, is that it already is in heaven.

Heaven sees...heaven smells.

There are so many scent wafting buds hidden around the work and people of Jesus. It is most fragrant in the simple places of obedience and service...where love does her deeds, often unseen and without trumpet.

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
Thanks for your comments, I too was sharply convicted by this post. As I grow as a Christian I see areas of my life where God has gained ground; but in others it seems as though I'm going backwards. This post touched many of those areas that are retreating.

Hi Mel,
I can't think of a greater passage as illustration for this post. Good stuff!

Eric, there is something different about your appearance, can't put my finger on it, maybe just a look of greater contentment or an unusual sparkle in your eye :)
Great comments as well. Tis true most of the heroics of Christians are in the daily grind and left unnoticed.
Love Dad