Help or a Hindrance?

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgement on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”  Romans 14:13

Did you ever stop to think about the fact that each of us give a daily witness in the small ways we behave toward one another and toward our circumstances?  Saint Francis of Assisi supposedly said, “Preach the gospel daily, if necessary use words.”  We are all preaching something, whether we know it or not.  I came across this quote by Frances Ridley Havergal, an English religious poet and hymnist, in my devotional reading this week.  I need to read this and take it to heart every morning.  We are constantly influencing others, and I want my influence to be positive.

“A vexation arises, and our expressions of impatience hinder others from taking it patiently.  Disappointment, ailment, or even weather depresses us;  and our look or tone of expression hinders others from maintaining a cheerful and thankful spirit.  We say an unkind thing, and another is hindered in learning the holy lesson of charity that thinketh no evil.  We say a provoking thing, and our sister or brother is hindered in that day’s effort to be meek.  How sadly, too, we may hinder without word or act!  For wrong feeling is more infectious than wrong doing;  especially the various phases of ill temper–gloominess, touchiness, discontent, irritability,–do we not know how catching these are?”

Service — A Blessed Habit

This quote was part of my devotional reading this morning, and I think it suits our theme well.  It was written by Frances Ridley Havergal, daughter of an Anglican clergyman. You may know her famous hymn, Take My Life.

“Begin at once.  Before you venture away from this quiet moment, ask your King to take you wholly into His service, and place all the hours of this day quite simply at His disposal, and ask Him to make and keep you ready to do just exactly what He appoints.  Never mind about tomorrow;  one day at a time is enough.  Try it today, and see if it is not a day of strange, almost curious peace, so sweet that you will be only too thankful, when tomorrow comes, to ask Him to take it also,–till it will become a blessed habit to hold yourself simply and ‘wholly at Thy commandment for any manner of service.’  The whatsoever is not necessarily active work.  It may be waiting (whether half an hour or half a life-time), learning, suffering, sitting still.  But shall we be less ready for these if any of them are His appointments for today?  Let us ask Him to prepare us for all that He is preparing for us.”