Daily Riches: Reigning in a Critical Spirit (Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen) *

“Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words. It is certain that the spirit of self-justification can be overcome only by the Spirit of grace; nevertheless, isolated thoughts of judgment can be curbed and smothered by never allowing them the right to be uttered…. Thus it must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If we could control our tongues,
we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.
And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go,
even though the winds are strong.
In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
…People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.
It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father,
and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.
And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth.
Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!”
James 3:2-10

“It is a good discipline to wonder in each new situation if people wouldn’t be better served by our silence than by our words.” Henri Nouwen

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think about your conversations at church. Do you tend to say whatever occurs to you? Could you determine never to speak in defense of yourself or in judgment of another?
  • Does your congregation have a “decisive rule … that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him?”
  • Both James and Bonhoeffer admit the difficulty of controlling our words. Even so, both men seem to suggest that we will control ourselves by controlling our words. Can you control your words?

Abba, may my words be surrounded by much silence and informed by much love.

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For More: Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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These “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Reigning in a Critical Spirit (Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen)

“Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be expressed in words. It is certain that the spirit of self-justification can be overcome only by the Spirit of grace; nevertheless, isolated thoughts of judgment can be curbed and smothered by never allowing them the right to be uttered…. Thus it must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“If we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. …People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” James 3:2-10

“It is a good discipline to wonder in each new situation
if people wouldn’t be better served by our silence
than by our words.”
Henri Nouwen

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think about your conversations at church. Do you tend to say whatever occurs to you? Could you determine never to speak in defense of yourself or in judgment of another?
  • Does your congregation have a “decisive rule … that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him?”
  • Both James and Bonhoeffer admit the difficulty of controlling our words. Even so, both men seem to suggest that we will control ourselves by controlling our words. Can you control your words?

Abba, may my words be surrounded by much silence and informed by much love.

__________

For More: Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

_________________________________________________

These “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Contemplation (John Eudes Bamberger)

“When you are faithful in [silent meditation] … you will slowly experience yourself in a deeper way.  Because in this useless hour in which you do nothing ‘important’ or urgent you have to come to terms with your basic powerlessness, you have to feel your fundamental inability to solve your or other people’s problems or to change the world. When you do not avoid that experience but live through it, you will find out that your many projects, plans, and obligations become less urgent, crucial, and important and lose their power over you.” John Eudes Bamberger

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.”
Psalm 131:2

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to go to the place the Psalmist writes about, where your soul is quieted and you experience great love, peace, protection, and acceptance from your heavenly parent?
  • Do you have a deep sense of your own “basic powerlessness … to solve your or other people’s problems?” Do you attempt to “avoid that feeling” or try to “live through it?” What is the result?
  • In the press of a busy day, time spent sitting quietly before the Lord can seem “useless” or like “doing nothing.” Have you established a daily practice to keep from skipping such time so that you can more powerfully sense his love for you and your own limitations and needs?

Abba, I pray that the false urgency of my world would lose it’s grip on me as I linger in your presence. I pray that, more and more, I would sense your great love towards me. Help me to breathe in that love, and then exhale it out as my gift, and your gift, to my world.

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For More: The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

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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 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)