Saints on Earth
"To the saints that are in the earth" -- Psalm 16:3
We have queer notions about saints. When we speak of a saint we have in mind some person who is unearthly and who stands apart from earthly life. We associate sainthood with the cloister. We imagine a saintly life to be impossible in the midst of worldly affairs.
This conception of sainthood is foreign to the Bible. The Bible addresses itself to "saints that are in the earth," to "saints in Rome," to saints on the streets of the city and in the marketplace. The religion it teaches aims to make us saints, not merely for heaven, but for this world.
In the hurlyburly and keen competition of modern business life, a man can be a Christian and carry out the spirit and teachings of Christ. He can be a man of God and a man of prayer, as truly as any priest or minister of the church. He may not be a perfect man—sainthood does not mean perfection. But he can be the kind of man Paul describes: "Diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
A saintly life demands nothing that is incompatible with successful business life. A man can handle large sums of money and be absolutely free from the taint of the love of money; and though accumulating business cares press heavily upon him, he can keep his soul alive and live in daily communion with God.
Not only may one be a saint in business; he can be a saint and be free to enjoy social life.
You can be a saint without being sanctimonious.
You can be pious without being puritanical.
Religion was never intended to rob life of mirth and gaiety, of song and laughter. There is nothing inconsistent between pure religion and pure fun. It is among "the saints that are in the earth," that the liveliest, brightest, happiest people are to be found.
One of the characteristic words of religion is—"Rejoice!"
The Christian religion calls upon us to "weep with those who weep," but it also calls upon us to "rejoice with those who rejoice."
Before we are saints in heaven, we are to be saints on earth.