All That I Ought To Be (Grimke)

Meditations on Preaching In July 1928, on the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the gospel ministry, Francis Grimke wrote some reflections about his ministry.  At 78 years old, Grimke noted that he no longer had the mental or physical strength that he formerly had.  And as he looked back at his ministry, he readily confessed that God gave him the strength to do work of a pastor.

Here’s another reflection Grimke noted after fifty years in the ministry.  I really appreciate this:

What effect have these fifty years had upon myself, upon my personal development? What have I to show in character development – in intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth? Am I any farther on in the upward path, in the attainment of the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ? No one knows better than I do how far I am below the noble ideal of what a Christian ought to be; and no one can more sincerely deplore it than I do. And yet, imperfect as I know myself to be at the end of these fifty years, I can truthfully say, it is not the result of indifference: it is not because I have not desired, have not tried to be a better man, a more worthy representative of the religion which I profess, and which I have sought to induce others to accept and practice. I am fully aware of the fact that I am not now, and never have been all that I ought to be.  All that I ought to be, however, I do most earnestly desire to be. Fortunately, it is not in our own righteousness, that we are to stand at last, but in the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, imputed to us and received by faith alone.

Francis James Grimke, Meditations on Preaching, p. 40.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015