Lent with Bonhoeffer: Legitimate Obedience

discipleship cover

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Obedience to Jesus’s call is never an autonomous human deed. Thus, not even something like actually giving away one’s wealth is the obedience required. It could be that such a step would not be obedience to Jesus at all, but instead, a free choice of one’s own lifestyle. It could be a Christian ideal, a Franciscan ideal of poverty. It could be that by giving away wealth, people affirm themselves and an ideal, and not Jesus’s command. It could be that they do not become free from themselves, but even more trapped in themselves. The step into the situation is not something people offer Jesus; it is always Jesus’s gracious offer to people. It is legitimate only when it is done that way, but then it is no longer a free human possibility.

-from The Cost of Discipleship, pg. 83

(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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