snares of my mind

paul_gosch_-_generalarzt
By Paul Gosch (1885-1940) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

O Lord,
My every sense, member, faculty, affection,
   is a snare to me,
I can scarcely open my eyes but I envy those above me,
   or despise those below.
I covet the honor and riches of the mighty,
   and am proud and unmerciful to the rags of others;
If I behold beauty it is a bait to lust,
   or see deformity, it stirs up loathing and disdain;
How soon do slanders, vain jests, and wanton speeches
   creep into my heart!
Am I attractive? what fuel for pride!
Am I deformed? what an occasion for complaining!
Am I gifted? I lust after applause!
Am I unlearned? how I despise what I have not!
Am I in authority? how prone to abuse my trust,
                                    make my will into law,
                                    exclude other’s enjoyments,
                                    serve my own interests and policy!
Am I inferior, how much I judge another’s superiority!
Am I rich? how exalted I become!

You know that all these are snares by my corruptions,
   and my greatest snare is myself.
Yet what can you expect of dust but levity,
                                    of corruption but defilement?
Keep me ever mindful of my natural state,
   but let me not forget my heavenly title,
   or the grace that can deal with every sin.

_____________________

You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you
   and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits.
Let the Spirit change your way of thinking
   and make you into a new person.
You were created to be like God,
   and so you must please him and be truly holy.

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