Yes, I was in a tiff.
These things happen in life. But very soon, I realized that I was holding on to this perceived indignity and not wanting to give it up.
Ah. . . but then, the next morning was Sunday. In the sermon the minister mentions the book The Christian Atheist and recommends it. According to the author, Craig Groeschel, there are people who are Christians but act as atheists…ones who don’t believe the teachings of Jesus. (I recognize myself there at times.) We don’t live up to our own standards, and all of us Christians are hypocrites at some time or another. This causes severe damage to others when they see our failures and they had expected so much more of us.
Lord please help me, help me. I feel hopelessly unable to drop this resentment.
A Hymn to Help
Then the song came crowding into my mind, “Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Thy Peace” by Olive Dungan That is the prayer of Saint Francis. I realize the huge block that I have at this time in being any kind of instrument of peace. So I continued through the words in my mind:
Where there is hatred, let me sow Love,. . . But I really don’t want to, Lord.
Where there is injury, pardon,. . . I need to pardon. You pardon Me constantly, Jesus.
Where there is doubt, faith,. . . Where is my faith in your Way, Lord?
Where there is distress, hope,. . . Hope. This needs to be in my thinking.
Where there is darkness, light. . . It’s heaviness and darkness now.
Where there is sadness, joy,. . . I am sad.
Oh divine master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console, . . .Yes, Lord, all I am thinking is me me me and my need to be consoled.
To be understood as to understand, . . . It is my ego, my pride, and my desire to control certain things that make me angry. Shall I now put myself in the other person’s place and try to understand another point of view? OK. Think back. This person is capable of a lot of thoughtful actions — remember?
To be loved as to love,. . . Shall I love right now rather than focusing on Me?
For it is in giving that we receive, . . . Well, I know that is true. (I feel my heart softening.)
It is is pardoning that we are pardoned,. . . Oh Yes, important point!
It is in dying that we are BORN to eternal life! . . . Big sigh, uh huh.
So it was this song that helped so much. The words of the song served to remind me of what I wanted to say as I confessed my wrongs, along with points from the sermon I heard. I don’t live up to my own standards, even though I want to.
It is easy to confess my wrongs to God, but what about the person with whom I had the disagreement. That was surprisingly easy as well, after I had gotten myself turned around. One couldn’t help but notice the fragile but subdued peace that settled down after my sorrowful confession. It felt good.
If you want to listen to the song, there is an absolutely heavenly interpretation of it that I bought on iTunes some time ago sung by Annet Nakamoto. It is worth far more than the 99 cents, but I don’t know how one would share it on a blog like this. If you want to listen to a bit of it, the title is “Eternal Life” by Olive Dungan sung by Annet Nakamoto.
This rendition I can share is excellent and sung by a guest of Diane Bish, the organist.
By the way, I have now read The Christian Atheist and it is a great read. It is available on Amazon, but I got it from the public library. The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist by Craig Groeschel (Author).
Elaine is the founder of hymnserve.com. Her website provides downloadable hymn accompaniments for congregations, small groups and individuals.