I Would Be True

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

A brilliant scholar, Howard Walter, graduated with honors from Princeton University, and then went on to have advanced studies in the U.S., Scotland, and Germany. A committed believer, he also served as a pastor and missionary.

In 1906, while teaching English in Japan, Walter wrote a poem that summarized his faith. Called “I Would be True,” the poem described how he knew that there were “those who trust me.” It was important to be pure “for there are those who care.” Knowing that many suffered, he needed to be ready to help. It was important to be brave “for there is much to dare.”

Because so many were friendless, he desired to “be friend of all.” It was important to be humble and giving, to “look up, and laugh, and love and lift.” This commitment required that he “be constantly in touch with God,” always ready to “follow where He leads me.” Always to “have faith to keep the path Christ trod.”

Walter sent the poem to his mother in the United States. Sensing the sincerity and power of its message, she submitted it for publication. It was widely circulated, and eventually became the basis of a popular hymn.

As the poem attracted attention, S. Ralph Harlow was among those impacted by the message, and added new stanzas. He felt we could be true by being the brother of those who are low, feeling the heartache of those who hurt. By being available for any who “turn to me for help in pain.”

The words of this poem provide inspiration as reminders of the opportunities God gives us, and the ways we can minister to others in Jesus’ name. In your life, stay true. Don’t waiver. Serve Him faithfully.