“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge — but he who hates correction is stupid.” Proverbs 12:1
What evil can be affirmed of us, the root of which is not found in our hearts? While maintaining the holy conflict, God, who can make even the wrath of man to praise Him, visits us with a sharp (and apparently undeserved) reproof from some unkind acquaintance. If we receive this as from above, turning it into an occasion of deeper self-examination and resolving more vigorously than ever to abstain from all appearance of evil, we certainly gain a great victory and blessing. But if we grow impatient and make many excuses, being determined to resent all slights and imputations, we aggravate the evil and neglect the means by which both others and ourselves might be improved.
O Lord, correct our weakness and conform us entirely to Your will and nature. May we see Your hand in every event, either directly working or overruling; and amidst our sorest trials remember that whatever man intends, Your design is to do us good. If Shimei curse us, may we not retaliate — but say, “It may be the Lord has bidden him and will requite me good for his cursing.”
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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