Not Emotions but Reality

by Hanna Whitall Smith

If we are really one with Christ it will not be contrary to our nature to be Christ-like and to walk as He walked, but it will be in accordance with our nature. Sweetness, gentleness, meekness, patience, longsuffering, charity, kindness, will all be natural to the Christian, who is a partaker of the nature of Christ. It could not be otherwise.

But people who live in their emotions do not always see this. They feel so at one with Christ that they look no farther than this feeling, and often delude themselves with thinking they have come into the Divine union, when all the while their nature and dispositions are still under the sway of self-love.

Now, we all know that our emotions are most untrustworthy, and are largely the result of our physical condition or our natural temperaments. It is a fatal mistake, therefore, to make them the test of our oneness with Christ. This mistake works both ways. If I have very joyous emotions, I may be deluded by thinking I have entered into the Divine union when I have not; and if I have no emotions, I may grieve over my failure to enter, when I really have entered.

Character is the only real test. God is holy and those who are one with Him will be holy also. Our Lord Himself expressed His oneness with the Father in such words as these: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works; that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.”

The test Christ gave, then, by which the reality of His oneness with the Father was to be known, was the fact that He did the works of the Father; and I know no other test for us now.

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