“If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him–work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend.” Matthew 18:15
The writer of this scripture started both sentences with the word “If”–a little word that opens up great possibilities.
English poet, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) wrote a poem titled “IF”. Thirteen times in four stanza, the word “If” appeared at the beginning of the line. Kipling wrote this poem about fifteen years after a failed attempt by a British military leader from England to overthrow the government of Boer. The failure of the mission aggravated the political tensions between the two countries, resulting in the Second Boer War (1899-1902).
Kipling writes in stanza 4:
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
If wars could be avoided by the advice of Matthew and Kipling, what a wonderful world it could become.
Lord, help us put pride in our pocket and love on our lips. Amen.