Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | September 21, 2014


MY DEAR (I could put my own name here!),
As I have already had one bad night, and several troubled wakings, all about you, I had better get it off my mind. I write to you as one who is really wanting to follow Jesus altogether, really wanting to live and speak EXACTLY according to His commands and His beautiful example; and when there is the standard, what seems a little thing, or nothing at all, to others, is seen to be sin, because it is disobeying His dear word and not “following fully.” “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.”

Now, darling, be true to yourself, and to Him, as to these His own words. Would you like any one to detail, and dwell, upon, little incidents which made you appear weak, tiresome, capricious, foolish? Yet, dear, everything which we say of another which we would not like them to say of us, (unless said with some right and pure object which Jesus Himself would approve,) is transgression of this distinct command of our dear Lord’s and therefore sin,–sin which needs nothing less than His blood to cleanse, sin in which we indulge at our peril and to the certain detriment of our spiritual life. And Jesus hears every word, and sees, to the depth, the want of real conformity to His own loving spirit, from which they spring. Do not think I am condemning you without seeing my own failures. It is just because it is a special battlefield of my own that I am the more pained and quick to feel it, when others, who love Jesus, yield to the temptation or do not see it to be temptation. I know the temptation it is to allow oneself to say things which one would not say if the person was present, yes, and if Jesus were visibly present. And I have seen and felt how even a momentary indulgence in the mildest forms of “speaking evil,” which is so absolutely forbidden, injures one’s own soul, and totally prevents clear, unclouded communion with Jesus. So I want you to recognise and shun and resolutely and totally “put away” this thing.

I should not write all this but that I long for your eyes to be opened to the principle, for others’ sake, for your own soul’s sake, and for Christ’s sake. I want you to pray over it, to search bravely to the bottom, and to put it all into the hands of Jesus, that He may not only forgive but cleanse, and so fill you with His love that it (and nothing else) may overflow into all your words, that He may “make you to increase and abound in love. . .to the end. He may establish your heart unblameable in holiness.” Oh, if you knew how I pray for this for myself, you would not wonder at my anxiety about it for you and for others! So don’t be vexed with,

Yours ever lovingly.

Frances Ridley Havergal from MEMORIALS

(This letter was written by Frances Ridley Havergal, drawing from her own experiences, to help someone God laid on her heart to be delivered from a troubling snare in her spiritual life.  It has helped me personally and ministered to me in my own spiritual life.)


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