(J.A. James, "Christian Fellowship" 1822)
Christians should excel in the manifestation of Christ's character. The mind which was in Jesus, should be in them. They should consider His character as a model of their own; and be conspicuous for their . . .
poverty of spirit,
It is matter of surprise and regret, that many people seem to think that Christianity has nothing to do with character! And that provided they are free from gross sins, and have lively feelings in devotional exercises, they may be as petulant, irritable, and implacable as they please! This is a dreadful error, and has done great mischief to the cause of God!
A sour, ill-natured Christian is like a lamb with a wolf's head; or like a dove with a vulture's beak!
If there be any one word which above all others should describe a Christian's character, it is that which represents his divine Father; and as it is said, that 'God is love', so should it be also affirmed, that a Christian is love--love embodied, an incarnation of love! His words, his conduct, his very looks--should be so many expressions of love!
Eph 4:29-5:2 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.