Lent with Bonhoeffer: Stepping into Faith

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Jesus says to anyone who uses their faith or lack of faith to excuse their acts of disobedience to his call: “First obey, do the external works, let go of what binds you, give up what is separating you from God’s will!” Do not say, “I do not have the faith for that.” You will not have it so long as you remain disobedient, so long as you will not take that first step. Do not say, “I have faith, so I do not have to take the first step.” You do not have faith, because and so long as you will not take that first step. Instead, you have hardened yourself in disbelief under the appearance of humble faith. It is an evil excuse to point from inadequate obedience to inadequate faith, and from inadequate faith to inadequate obedience. It is the disobedience of the “faithful” if they confess their unbelief where their obedience is required and if they play games with that confession (Mark 9:24). You believe–so take the first step! It leads to Jesus Christ. You do not believe–take the same step; it is commanded of you! The question of your belief or unbelief is not yours to ask. The works of obedience are required and must be done immediately. The situation is given in which faith becomes possible and really exists.

-from The Cost of Discipleship, pgs. 66-67

(These reflections from Dietrich Bonhoeffer can be found in a collection entitled A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Daily Meditations from His Letters, Writings, and Sermons. It can be purchased HERE.)

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