Daily Riches: The Impotence of Criticism (Tullian Tchividjian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Mother Teresa)

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Mother Teresa

“Most parents and spouses, siblings and friends—even preachers—fall prey to the illusion that real change happens when we lay down the law, exercise control, demand good performance, or offer ‘constructive’ criticism. We wonder why our husbands grow increasingly withdrawn over the years, why our children don’t call as much as we would like them to, why our colleagues don’t confide in us, why our congregants become relationally and emotionally detached from us. In more cases than not, it happens because we are feeding their deep fear of judgment—by playing the judge. Our lips may be moving, but the voice they hear is that of the law. The law may have the power to instruct and expose, but it does not have the power to inspire or create. That job is reserved for grace–grace alone. In Romans 7, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that the law illuminates sin but is powerless to eliminate sin. That’s not part of its job description. It points to righteousness but can’t produce it. It shows us what godliness is, but it cannot make us godly. The law can inform us of our sin but it cannot transform the sinner. Only the gospel can do that. As Martin Luther said, ‘Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God.’ The law may expose bad behavior, but only grace can woo the heart.” Tullian Tchividjian

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus
that we are saved, just as they are.”
Acts 15:11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you been “playing the judge?” What does your answer say about you?
  • Grace works by “wooing the heart.” Does that describe how you influence others?
  • Can you trust God to bring about needed change in the lives of others–and just focus on loving them?

Abba, make me a conduit for your inexhaustible love and grace.

For More: One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! Please leave a comment or question. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

 

Daily Riches: Is Monastic Life Pointless? (Judith Valente, Aldous Huxley and Mother Teresa) *

“In all the historic formulations of the Perennial Philosophy it is axiomatic that the end of human life is contemplation … that a society is good to the extent that it renders contemplation possible for its members; and that the existence of at least a minority of contemplatives is necessary for the well-being of any society.”  Aldous Huxley

“I used to think of monasteries as hopeless throwbacks to the past, a case of let the last monk or sister standing turn out the lights. Now I look upon them as windows to the future — a future we desperately need in our society. One that stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives.” Judith Valente

“The day consists primarily in prayer. …We are contemplatives who live in the midst of the world. …If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live among the destitute.” Mother Teresa

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you see how contemplatives are “necessary for the well-being of any society?” Do you have any in your life to learn from?
  • Can you imagine a community that “stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives?” Shouldn’t that be the church? Does your church regularly call its members to these “monastic” values? Do you practice some of them yourself?
  • Mother Teresa insists that radical service must be undergirded by a contemplative lifestyle. In Isaiah God says strength is found by trusting him in quiet “rest.” Does your trust in God lead you to quiet rest? Are you attempting to live contemplatively?

Abba, may I be a “contemplative in this world”, practicing these ancient values, for my good, and the good of my world.

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For More: Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Contemplatives In the World (Mother Teresa and Richard Rohr) *

“We are called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world –

by seeking the face of God in everything,
everyone, everywhere, all the time,
and his hand in every happening;
seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus,
especially in the lowly appearance of bread,
and in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
Mother Teresa

“Contemplation is an exercise in keeping your heart and mind spaces open long enough for the mind to see other hidden material. It is content with the naked now and waits for futures given by God and grace. As such, a certain amount of love for an object and for myself most precede any full knowing of it.” Richard Rohr

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”    Matthew 25:37-40

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • I love the phrase “contemplatives in the heart of the world.” Does this seem possible for you? What would it mean for you to be a contemplative in the world today?
  • Mother Teresa said, “If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live [in Calcutta] among the destitute.” Think about that phrase “constant union with God.” Is that concept on your radar?
  • Do you think to look for Jesus in the “distressing disguise of the poor?” If not, why not? How can you practice doing that?

Abba, help me to see and adore you “in the distressing disguise of the poor” – and in so many of your other disguises – the elderly, the child, the disfigured, the dirty, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the immigrant, the otherwise marginalized. I’m often so much more likely to judge or ignore than to adore.

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For More: “An Urban Epiphany” – the article by Edwina Gateley in Daniel Clendenin’s blog Journey With Jesus.

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Thanks for reading and sharing Richer By Far! I appreciate it.  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Is Monastic Life Pointless? (Judith Valente, Aldous Huxley and Mother Teresa)

“In all the historic formulations of the Perennial Philosophy it is axiomatic that the end of human life is contemplation … that a society is good to the extent that it renders contemplation possible for its members; and that the existence of at least a minority of contemplatives is necessary for the well-being of any society.”  Aldous Huxley

“I used to think of monasteries as hopeless throwbacks to the past, a case of let the last monk or sister standing turn out the lights. Now I look upon them as windows to the future — a future we desperately need in our society. One that stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives.” Judith Valente

“The day consists primarily in prayer. …We are contemplatives who live in the midst of the world. …If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live among the destitute.” Mother Teresa

In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Can you see how contemplatives are “necessary for the well-being of any society?” Do you have any in your life to learn from?
  • Can you imagine a community that “stresses community over competition, consensus over conflict, simplicity over consumption, service over self-aggrandizement and quiet over the constant chatter in our lives?” Shouldn’t that be the church? Does your church regularly call its members to these “monastic” values? Do you practice some of them yourself?
  • Mother Teresa insists that radical service must be undergirded by a contemplative lifestyle. In Isaiah God says strength is found by trusting him in quiet “rest.” Does your trust in God lead you to quiet rest? Are you attempting to live contemplatively?

Abba, may I be a “contemplative in this world”, practicing these ancient values, for my good, and the good of my world.

__________


For More: Atchison Blue by Judith Valente

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)


The Contemplative Life (Mother Teresa)

“We are called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world –

by seeking the face of God in everything,
everyone, everywhere, all the time,
and his hand in every happening;
seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus,
especially in the lowly appearance of bread,
and in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
Mother Teresa

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”    Matthew 25:37-40

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • I love the phrase “contemplatives in the heart of the world.” Does this seem possible for you? What would it mean for you to be a contemplative in the world today?
  • Mother Teresa said, “If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live [in Calcutta] among the destitute.” Think about that phrase “constant union with God.” Is that concept on your radar?
  • Do you think to look for Jesus in the “distressing disguise of the poor?” If not, why not? How can you practice doing that?

Abba, help me to see and adore you “in the distressing disguise of the poor” – and in so many of your other disguises – the elderly, the child, the disfigured, the dirty, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the immigrant, the otherwise marginalized. I’m often so much more likely to judge or ignore than to adore.

__________

For More: “An Urban Epiphany” – the article by Edwina Gateley in Daniel Clendenin’s blog Journey With Jesus.

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)