Friday, March 27, 2009

Wise Words

The quote below is taken from, quite possibly, the best book written on the subject of Christian community (other than the Bible itself, of course). It is a short book, but there is so much packed into those pages. It is a lot like The Practice of the Presence of God (Lawrence) in that way. It may seem small, but the contents are so rich it seems huge. I think it is a must-read for Christians. I promise you'll return to it again and again and you'll find something new and insightful each time.

I am posting this because I am still in that stage of considering the power of words - mine, yours, God's, etc. If all my words came from a place like that which is described below...well, life would be bliss. I am learning, though, that sometimes I will: say the wrong thing, hear the wrong thing, read the wrong thing, and/or fail to speak when I should. This is not a startling reality, but a frustrating one nonetheless. Especially for a frustrated perfectionist like myself. It is...messy. Life always is. I know will not always choose right, as I am an imperfect and fallen human being. However, this is no excuse. I plan to do my best to remember Bonhoeffer's words and let them inform my own.

"He who would learn to serve must first learn to think little of himself. Let no man 'think of himself more highly than he ought to think' (Romans 12:3). 'To have no opinion of ourselves and think always well and highly of others is great wisdom and perfection,' said Thomas a Kempis.

Only he who lives by the forgiveness of his sin in Jesus Christ will rightly think little of himself. He will know that his own wisdom reached the end of its tether when Jesus forgave him."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

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