“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”
There’s plenty of hatred to go around these days. And I’m guessing that 2024 promises more of the same. So this year I’m reflecting through and memorizing the prayer of Saint Francis, also known as The Peace Prayer. Saint Francis didn’t write this prayer, although it is attributed to him. It first showed up around 1912. (History of the Prayer)
Each week, I’m going to briefly reflect on how I can practically apply the principles of this prayer in my life. I might carry a particular phrase over more than one week, though, because I want to keep these posts short.
My goal in these posts isn’t to preach, unless I am preaching at myself. I just want to provide food for thought. So, here goes . . .
I see two things working in these first two sentences. First, I must realize that being an instrument of God’s peace in this turbulent world is not something I can do on my own. “Lord, make me an instrument . . .” The desire must be there but I must understand that I can only be an instrument of God’s peace if he empowers me to do so. If I try to be his instrument in my own strength, I am bound to fail.
The second thing I have to understand is that being an instrument of God’s peace is an intentional process. I must choose to sow love.
I know. That seems obvious, doesn’t it?
But it’s easier said than done.
In the era of social media, it is much easier to send out a snarky meme, or make a biting comment on someone else’s post, or add a little laughing or frowning face to make fun of something someone else has posted, than it is to understand and to graciously disagree–or even just to bite my tongue and refrain from commenting.
So, with God’s help, the next time I’m tempted to share a meme, or make a comment, or add a little laughing/frowning face on someone else’s post, I want to remember how I’ve felt when people have done that to me. (It doesn’t feel good.) And perhaps I’ll think twice before I click “Send.”
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace–especially when I’m online.