Reading: Matthew 5: 1-12
How to Be Happy was written by Lydia Sigourney and published in 1833. It is now out of print but may be read freely online.
LOVE ALL MANKIND
It is easy to love the good. It is pleasant to love those who love us. It is possible to be kind to others, even if they are not kind to us. But we should try to love all human beings, because our Father in Heaven made them. They are his family. He created, he feeds, he watches over them. Some have black faces, some are copper colored, and olive colored, and others are white. But He hath “made of one blood, all that dwell upon the face of the whole earth.” They live in different climates, but he sendeth the same sun, the same rain upon all.
Some wrap themselves in furs, and dig cells in the earth, to get shelter from the bitter cold of winter. Others, in light garments of cotton or silk, can hardly endure the parching heat of their long summers. Some feed upon the rich fruits that ripen at the south, and others hunt the flying beast through the dark forest for their meat. Some drink the juice of the palm tree, some press the liquor from the grape, some refresh themselves at the pure fountains of water. Some lay down to sleep upon the tossing sea, and some upon the land, but the same Eye watches over all. The same Hand provides for all.
God who called them all forth from the dust of the earth, views them as one large family seated at one common table, which nature spreads, and about to lie down in one great bed, the grave. We see only one little corner of this table. We see the varieties of dress, and complexion, and our feelings are sometimes affected by them. We see one sitting in a high seat, and we say “he is more excellent than his neighbor.” We forget that God placed him there, and that to Him belongs the praise. Perhaps we turn away from those who gather the crumbs under the table. But all this time, the Great Father of all is looking on the heart. “He looketh down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if any will understand, or seek God.”
My dear children, it must be pleasing to Him who calls himself in his word, a God of love, that all his large family should feel as if they were brethren and sisters. Multitudes of your fellow-creatures you will never meet in this world. But you can think of them kindly in your hearts. You can think of them as under the care of the same merciful Parent from whom all your blessings proceed.
Call every face a friend to thee,
And all mankind God’s family.
For Further Study:
- Pick 5 Bible characters about whom you have learned. Write down one or two mistakes they made in their lives. Now look at the verses you read today and write down which verse they would have done well to learn from. Can you see how learning and living these verses would greatly help any child of God?
- Choose some of your favorite verses from Matthew 5:1-12. Write each one down. Next to each, write the name of a Bible character who personified this attitude. What kind of blessings were given to him or her?
- Take a look at the Beattitudes listed in Matthew 5. Which of those seem easier for you? Which ones seem hard? Can you think of people at church who have them?