It’s Fénelon Friday!
LETTER 11: The Sight of Our Imperfections Should Not Take Away Our Peace
There is something about your suffering which is very subtle and perhaps hard for you to understand. For even though you are convinced that your first concern is the glory of God, yet in your inmost soul it is the old self which keeps causing you so much trouble. The way I see the problem is this: I think that you really do want God to be glorified in your life, but you think that this is going to be accomplished by becoming more and more perfect. And in doing this you still are thinking of your own personal worth. So if you would truly derive profit from the discovery of your imperfections, I would suggest two things. First of all, never try to justify yourself before God. And second, do not condemn yourself. Instead, why not quietly lay your imperfections before God? And if, at that moment, there are some things you cannot understand about His will, simply tell Him that you are willing to conform your will to His in all things. And then go on in peace. For you must understand that peace is the will of God for you in every situation. There is, in fact, a peace of conscience which nonbelievers themselves should experience when awakened to repentance by God. And every tear of repentance should be peaceful and equaled with comfort. Remember the beautiful word which once delighted you, that the Lord was not in noise and confusion, but in the still, small voice. (I Kings 19:11-12).
Francis Fénelon, Let Go (New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1973).