Preferring One Another

We cannot look upon the hearts of others and know the plague of their hearts. When we know the plague of our own hearts, we will have two advantages, we will come humbly to the Lord and it will be easier to prefer others.

1 Samuel 16:7: But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Kings 8:38: What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:

1 Peter 5:6: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Romans 12:10: Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Adam Clarke:

The meaning appears to be this: Consider all your brethren as more worthy than yourself; and let neither grief nor envy affect your mind at seeing another honoured and yourself neglected. This is a hard lesson, and very few persons learn it thoroughly. If we wish to see our brethren honoured, still it is with the secret condition in our own minds that we be honoured more than they. We have no objection to the elevation of others, providing we may be at the head. But who can bear even to be what he calls neglected? I once heard the following conversation between two persons, which the reader will pardon my relating in this place, as it appears to be rather in point, and is worthy of regard. *I know not,* said one, *that I neglect to do any thing in my power to promote the interest of true religion in this place, and yet I seem to be held in very little repute, scarcely any person even noticing me.* To which the other replied: *My good friend, set yourself down for nothing, and if any person takes you for something it will be all clear gain.* I thought this a queer saying: but how full of meaning and common sense! Whether the object of this good counsel was profited by it I cannot tell; but I looked on it and received instruction.

John Wesley*s Notes:

In honour preferring one another, which you will do, if you habitually consider what is good in others, and what is evil in yourselves.

Philip Doddridge:

Do not only abound in the exercises of common humanity, but in brotherly love, as Christians, {be} mutually full of tender affections, yea cultivate those gentle dispositions of mind with delight; and endeavour to think so modestly of yourselves, that you may still be in honour preferring one another. Let each in his turn be ready to think better of his brethren than of himself; and so to prevent them in every office of respect, and, out of regard to their advantage, to give up with as good a grace as possible any thing in which his own honour or personal interest may be concerned.

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