Quotes

What does it matter if our own plans are frustrated?

“What does it matter if our own plans are frustrated? Is it not better to serve our neighbor than to have our own way?”— Dietrcih Bonhoeffer, “Life Together” pg. 95

Speaking Truth to Yourself

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. `Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul?’ he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says: `Self, listen for a moment, I will speak to you’. Do you know what I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience. .. The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: `Why art thou cast down’-what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: `Hope thou in God’-instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: `I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God’. .. Martyn Lloyd-Jones;D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure (Kindle Locations 204-214). Kindle Edition.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness flounders because I exclude the enemy from the community of humans even as I exclude myself from the community of sinners. But no one can be in the presence of the God of the crucified Messiah for long without overcoming this double exclusion – without transposing the enemy from the sphere of monstrous inhumanity into the sphere of shared humanity and herself from the sphere of proud innocence into the sphere of common sinfulness. When one knows that the torturer will not eternally triumph over the victim, one is free to rediscover that person’s humanity and imitate God’s love for him. And when one knows that God’s love is greater than all sin, one is free to see oneself in the light of God’s justice and so rediscover one’s own sinfulness.

Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace

Thy love let it my heart over power

Give me a faith which can remove
And sink the mountain to a plain;
Give me the childlike praying love
Which longs to build thy house again;
Thy love, let it my heart o’erpower,
Let it my ransomed soul devour.
I would the precious time redeem
And longer live for this alone—
To spend and to be spent for them
Who have not yet my Savior known;
Fully on these my mission prove,
And only breath, to breath thy love.
My talents, gifts and graces, Lord,
Into Thy blessed hands receive;
And let me live to preach thy word,
And let me to thy glory live;
My every sacred moment spend
In publishing the sinner’s Friend.’
Enlarge, inflame and fill my heart
With boundless charity divine;
So shall I all my strength exert,
And love them with a zeal like Thine;
And lead them to Thine open side,
The sheep for whom their shepherd died.
Charles Wesley

Never Waste Your Time Looking for Justice

One of the great stirring truths of the Bible is that the man who looks for justice from others is a fool. In moral and spiritual life if a man has a sense of injustice, he ceases to be of use to his fellowmen.  Never waste your time looking for justice; if you do you will soon put yourself in bandages and give way to self-pity.  Our business is to see that no one suffers from our injustice.

Oswald Chambers, Shade of His Hand, pg. 48

Caution vs. Love

C.S. Lewis on being careful rather than loving.

“Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as ‘Careful! This might lead you to suffering.’

… When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that His teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.

The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” 

CS Lewis The Four Loves