831

Teach us how grave a thing it is

Teach us how grave a thing it is
to break love’s laws deliberately,
to flout your holiness, great God,
or flaunt our shame presumptuously.

2. Have pity on our weakness, Lord,
and deal with us forgivingly;
but make us sterner with ourselves,
exacting strict integrity.

3. Restrain us from excessive zeal
in judging other people’s sins,
for in our verdict passed on them,
your judgement of ourselves begins.

4. Prevent us throwing any stones,
aware of our unworthiness;
but, even more, remembering Christ,
who loves us in our sinfulness.

5. He routed those who came to vent
their fury in self-righteousness,
but bore their malice to the end
to perish on their bitterness.

6. God, give us his hard-centred love
to deal with human wickedness;
but make us hard on self alone,
contending for your gentleness.

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