If… (some thoughts by Amy Carmichael)

If in dealing with one who does not respond, I weary of the strain and slip from under the burden, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I’m afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand,” or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I hold onto choices of any kind, just because they are my choice; if I give any room to my private likes and dislikes, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I feel bitterly toward those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love. 
  
If monotony tries me, if stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge; if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I am inconsiderate about the comfort of others, or their feelings, or even of their little weaknesses; if I’m careless about their little hurts and miss opportunities to smooth their way; if I make the sweet running of household wheels more difficult to accomplish, then I know nothing of Calvary love. 
If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient; if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love. 
If something I’m asked to do for another feels burdensome; if yielding to an inward unwillingness, I avoid doing it, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my heart’s choice, and I fret inwardly and do not welcome His will, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I covet anyplace on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
If I have not compassion on my fellow servant, even as my Lord had pity on me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, “You do not understand,” or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other’s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve around myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have “a heart at leisure from itself,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I do not give a friend “the benefit of the doubt,” but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I take offense easily; if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.

If I say, “Yes, I forgive, but I cannot forget,” as though the God, who twice a day washes all the sands on all the shores of all the world, could not wash such memories from my mind, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

That which I know not, teach Thou me, O Lord, my God.


 
From If by Amy Carmichael. Christian Literature Crusade © 1991
She was a missionary in Southern India for 55 years (never taking a furlough)

About alanbeth

What’s up? or rather, ¿Qué pasa? Hola, I’m Alan. I’m a missionary living in Mexico. We have a heart for MK Education and so we teach at a local Christian school with MK students as well as nationals and foreign students as well. I occasionally write or have a pic to share with you at my blog, Knowing Your ABCDs, which you can read with a click on the button above. You can read my blog with a click on the button above.
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1 Response to If… (some thoughts by Amy Carmichael)

  1. Ellie says:

    good book, amazing woman… makes me think. I just spent three weeks hearing, seeing, and sensing pain in relationships… all for the lack of, as Amy would say, Calvary love.Really thinking through who I am, how I act in the light of it all.

    Like

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