Posted by: rcottrill | June 24, 2011

Make Me a Blessing

Words: Ira Bishop Wilson (b. Sept. 6, 1880; d. Apr. 3:1950)
Music: George Stark Schuler (b. Apr. 18, 1882; d. Oct. 30, 1973)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Ira Wilson)

Note: As of the time when I’m writing this blog, Make Me a Blessing does not appear on the Cyber Hymnal website. The link above is to the brief biography of Ira Wilson. An interesting fact about his authorship of the words is found on the Wordwise link.

The Lord’s promise to Abraham was, “I will bless you…and you shall be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). That’s a basic principle. We are called, as believers, to be a blessing to others. But we can only give to them out of the resources the Lord has provided us with. He blesses us, and by that means we are equipped to be a blessing to others.

That even applies to the trials we go through. Not that we’re to pass on our suffering to others! But the things we learn in testing times give us a unique ability to minister to others going through similar difficulties. We see that in Second Corinthians:

“[The Lord] comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ” (II Cor. 1:4-5).

As someone has put it: God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters. In the words of Ira Wilson, “Give as ‘twas given to you in your need, / Love as the Master loved you” (stanza 3). “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8).

1) Out in the highways and byways of life,
Many are weary and sad;
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.

Make me a blessing, make me a blessing,
Out of my life may Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Saviour, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.

That applies to our ministry of loving deeds, in general, and it applies to sharing the gospel. We are called upon to invest our lives in service for the Lord and be witnesses for Him. Long ago, the prophet Isaiah heard the call: “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me’” (Isa. 6:8).

Likewise, of Christ’s disciples: “He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Matt. 4:19; cf. Jn. 15:16; 21:15-17). And the Apostle Paul: “None of these things [chains and tribulations, vs. 23] move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

In its operation, this important principle can multiply itself. What God gives to us, we are able to give to others, and they, in turn, can pass on the blessing to still others. As Paul instructed young Timothy, “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:2).

1) Who is there that will likely cross your path, in the next day or two, to whom you can be a special blessing? (How?)

2) In a sense, “Make me a blessing” can be a dangerous prayer. Why?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal (Ira Wilson)


  1. may I know if this hymn is public domain?

    • “Public Domain,” when works can be freely copied, is a bit complicated. The time frame varies from country to country. And sometimes the family of an author will renew a copyright. Further, there is the matter of “fair use” to deal with. Something that is still under copyright often can be quoted for educational or historical purposes, or for the purpose of critical review (which is what I do). The creator of the Cyber Hymnal, Dick Adams, tries to be very careful about this issue. Almost all of his 8,600 hymns are in the public domain. (Otherwise, he has obtained permission to include them.) He uses the date of 1923 as a cutoff point, and has not posted Ira Wilson’s Make Me a Blessing, as it was written in 1924. Hope that’s a bit of help. God bless.

      • Hi, this blog is blessing to me 🙂 We, a music group in Chennai India, named Chordiels Music, are publishing a quarterly issue of our Magazine, published online. The Magazine also has a column “Story of the Song”, in which we are planning to include “Make me a Blessing” as the song on focus. Let me request you to grant permission to use your blog post as foreword for this column. Your name along with the URL will be mentioned in the credit.
        Thanks in advance.
        Dr. Justus.

      • Yes, you’re welcome to use the article on Make Me a Blessing, as long as you include a link to my blog. God bless.

  2. […] song seems almost to combine the words–or at least the themes–of two others: Ira Wilson’s Make Me a Blessing, and Mary Maxwell’s Channels […]

  3. May I assume that this wonderful hymn would now be in the Public Domain in the year 2015? God bless

    • It appears the copyright was renewed in 1952 by WORD Inc. so its use would still be restricted.

  4. Incidentally, are you aware of an account that suggests Ira Wilson had forgotten that he had composed this hymn:


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