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The Glad Tidings

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    “And Such Like.”

    Read again that list of the works of the flesh. Some of them are generally recognized as very bad, or, at any rate, as not respectable; but others are commonly regarded as venial sins, if not absolute virtues. Notice, however, the words “and such like,” which indicate that all the things here named are identical in character. The Scripture tells us that hatred is murder. “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.” 1 John 3:15. Moreover, anger is also murder, as shown by the Saviour in Matthew 5:21, 22. Envy, which is so common, also contains murder in it. But who regards emulation as sinful? Isn’t emulation encouraged everywhere? Are not children from their infancy taught to strive to surpass somebody else? Is not emulation fostered, not only in schools of all kinds, but also in the home and in the church? In the Sabbath-school, emulation is fostered by the records that are often read out. So far from being regarded as sinful in the extreme, it is cultivated. And yet the Word of God assures us that it is of the same kind as adultery, fornication, murder, and drunkenness, and that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Is it not a fearful thing?GTI 221.1

    The love of self, the desire for the supremacy, is the source of all the other sins that are mentioned. Out of that have grown innumerable murders; and yet many mothers are unconsciously training their children in that very evil, even while striving to bring them up properly, by saying: “Now see if you can behave better than so and so.” “See if you can not learn to read or play better than such an one.” “See if you can not keep your clothes looking as nice as that one.” All such expressions, which are everyday words in thousands of households, are teaching emulation, setting a false standard. The child is not taught to distinguish between the right and the wrong, and to love the right, but is simply trained to appear better than somebody else. That leads to self-deception and Pharisaism, for all that is thought necessary is to present a better appearance than others, while the heart is corrupt. Those others may not be of very high character, and so the emulator is satisfied, even in this faulty exertion, with simply appearing better than some one who is himself very bad. Go through the entire list, and study each word carefully. Ah, the abominable works of the flesh are lurking where many least suspect them! They are wherever human flesh is, and are manifest in some form or other wherever the flesh is not crucified. Sin coucheth at the door.GTI 222.1

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