"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt. 5:48.
The Father is noticing and comprehending all the evil in the world, but He pursues an even course to all; sending His rain for the just and the unjust, giving to the evil a share in all His benefits, yet Himself apart from all evil and ever remaining in His own perfectness. So we, seeing things as they are, are not to be blind to them, yet not to be disturbed, going evenly on, accepting what meets us in the spirit in which the Father bears with things, and then no response to the evil is to be found in our hearts; thus we are perfect according to the pattern shown in the ways of the Father Himself.
"As a Nurse"
1 Thessalonians 2.
It is very interesting to see that the man who could "withstand to the face" a giant saint, if going astray as to the gospel, could act as a nurse to a babe.
"I was gentle among you, as a nurse cherisheth her children."
The nurse has in view one thing; it is the development of the young life of the child. Be it so that among saints the new life is divine, and hence indestructible, yet that growth is dependent I think must be admitted. How dependent we are on the nurse I suppose we shall never fully know in this world.
The atmosphere, the food, the clothing, and the present state of the constitution of the child are all careful objects of consideration to the nurse. May we not do well to consider these a little more fully than we have heretofore done? We are, I think, left here to walk for a little while (how little at longest!) among the children of God, God's children - God's family, let me remember - not mine, save as one of them. We are among them to serve Him as nurses of those dear to Him. We serve Him just in so far as we serve them (as Paul did) in what we have learnt of Him as to ourselves; that is, we serve them in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord."
This is the training of the nurse, and none can serve wisely without it. The first nurses are doubtless the father or mother. The first nurses are not always the wisest, and some of them may want training. Love (human love) is sometimes blind to what is defect in its object which another eye may detect. A trained nurse may also be the first nurse, and then all is well. Paul was not only the spiritual father of the Thessalonians, but he was a trained nurse. "The nurture and admonition of the Lord" was the school wherein he had learnt, and was still learning, the training on which he was acting.
It can only be learnt in God's school, and the discipline therein may be very varied and different with us all. Therein Paul had learnt something of the atmosphere which seeks to enwrap the children of God in its baneful influences. Two things are needed to withstand it - food and clothing. He had learnt the kind of food which had heretofore and was still sustaining him in it; he had learnt what it was to wrap himself around, and hence to wrap all of them around, in the blessed conscious warmth of DIVINE LOVE. Thus he acted the part of a nurse to them in this cold, cold world. The constitution of the saint cannot be better than it is. He has a good constitution, the constitution for eternity; but the apostle knew, and we know, that food and clothing are both necessities for the young life while it is connected with the earth.
If we all more realised "a good constitution fed and clothed," we should then more act upon our privilege. We are all nurses one of another. It was Cain who said, "Am I my brother's keeper?" What cheer would then be found among the children of God! Don't limit your usefulness in this way to the few in your own meeting. May we bestir ourselves, and God will give the grace for it, that it may be our joy to serve Him as we serve them all. H. C. Anstey.