Psalm Sunday- the comeback

>> Sunday, January 4, 2009

Admitedly, I am a slacker... a huge, easily distracted, too-much-on-my-plate slacker mom. My resolve to post a weekly reflection to keep me grounded and give me much needed perspective for the week has certainly been lacking lately. No promises that I will be as consistent as I should, but here's trying...


Today in church we talked about the difference between charity and unselfishness as discussed by C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. Unselfishness is doing something for others but making it clear that you are doing so at the expense of your own needs or wants or goals. It is still about you and can make the recipient of your unselfish deed feel that they owe you a favor in return. On the other hand, charity is doing something nice for others or giving to someone in need with no regard for your own needs. Helping others is the goal and so there is no need for the recipient to recognize how you sacrificed to help them. Unselfishness says "I'll give to you even though it is not my first choice." But charity says "It is my desire to help you and I feel good when I am able to reach out to those in need."
What a poignant distinction, at least to me. In what spirit do I give to others? Do I want them and others to know my sacrifice or do I give simply to help someone in need without needing any recognition or payback? Is my goal and desire to help or be seen as someone who helps? Am I just unselfish or do I truly exercise the virtue of charity? What about you?

Lord, make Your face shine upon this servant, that I may know and do your will with Your heart and not for any personal gain. Save me in your unfailing love.

Psalm 31

1 In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue;

be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth.
6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD.
7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,

for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.
8 You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.
9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;

my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;

my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.
11 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors;

I am a dread to my friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
13 For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side;

they conspire against me and plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. (I just love that verse! It is truly my prayer.)
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I have cried out to you;

but let the wicked be put to shame and lie silent in the grave.
18 Let their lying lips be silenced,

for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.
19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men;

in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.
21 Praise be to the LORD,

for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.
22 In my alarm I said, "I am cut off from your sight!"
Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.
23 Love the LORD, all his saints!

The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.



(No song this week.... I need to get to bed and the Psalm speaks for itself.)

1 comments:

mommaof4wife2r January 8, 2009 at 8:53 PM  

i am preaching on psalms all month...and i love this one!!! so great! love it. i'm gonna follow you girl...we can def be friends! football. kids. hubs. god. we got together!

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