Wisdom and the Love of Neighbor

“We certainly must love our neighbor, but our love must not be allowed to cause harm to our soul. We must therefore do all our works in a manner both simply and holy, with nothing in view but to please God. This will protect us from making any false steps out of love for our neighbor. The most important work we can do on behalf of our neighbor is to assist in their salvation. But our own ill considered and rash zeal can interfere in these actions, bringing nothing but harm to both our neighbors and ourselves. What we want is to be an example of sincere faith and a life pleasing to God – then, like the Apostles, we will be the fragrance of Christ (2 Cor. 2:25), drawing all people to follow Him. We must, in fact, always have this thirst for the salvation of our neighbors. But it must rise out of our love of God and not from indiscreet or rash eagerness. God Himself will plant such love for our brothers and sisters in our soul when it has renounced all things, and will come in His own time to gather its fruit. But we must not sow anything out of our own accord. All we have to do is to offer God the soil of our heart, free of all weeds and thistles, and He will sow the seed in it – when and how He wills. This seed will bear fruit in its proper time. Furthermore, if we learn to use prudence and restrain our zeal in relation to others, the Lord will preserve us in peace and serenity of soul.”

(Jack N. Sparks, Victory in the Unseen Warfare, pgs. 102-104)