January 22

Blameless but not unblamed

“That ye may be blameless and harmless . . . without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Phil. 2:15).
“To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God” (1 Thess. 3:13).

The word “blameless” means free from every form of willful wrong or intentional misdoing against our fellowmen; the word “harmless” means sincere, simple, without admixture of sin and vileness in the sight of God. To be the first is far, far the easier. It would not be so if the word “blameless” meant “unblamed,” for no man, however blameless, can escape being blamed. The experience of ages has shown that the shield of innocence, which a good man carries with him through the world, cannot be so white that none will throw dust at it. Some of the holiest and noblest men that ever lived have been—and sometimes all through their lives—very targets for the arrows of abuse. So long as Envy has restless eyes, and Calumny a fertile imagination, and Malice a myriad of voices which bellow in the shade—so long will there be enemies, persecutors, and slanderers of the very saints of God.

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