“We shall, as we ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards our fellow Christians. Bitter-spirited Christians may know a great deal, but they are immature. Those who are quick to censure may be very acute in judgment, but they are as yet very immature in heart.
He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore
does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks
ten thousand of their faults, because he knows his God overlooks twenty
thousand in his own case. He does not expect perfection in the
creature, and, therefore, he is not disappointed when he does not find
As he has sometimes to say of himself, ‘This is my infirmity,’ so he
often says of his Brethren, ‘This is their infirmity.’ And he does not
judge them as he once did. I know we who are young beginners in grace
think ourselves qualified to reform the whole Christian Church.
We drag her before us and condemn her straightway. But when our
virtues become more mature, I trust we shall not be more tolerant of evil, but we shall be more tolerant of infirmity,
more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our
criticisms. Sweetness towards sinners is another sign of ripeness.”
–Charles Spurgeon, “Ripe Fruit” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 16 (1870)