Lent with Bonhoeffer: Enduring Evil

Testament to freedom

Monday, March 12, 2018

By willing endurance we cause suffering to pass. Evil becomes a spent force when we put up no resistance. By refusing to pay back the enemy in his own coin, and by preferring to suffer without resistance, the Christian exhibits the sinfulness of contumely and insult. Violence stands condemned by its failure to evoke counter-violence. When a man unjustly demands that I should give him my coat, I offer him my cloak also, and so counter his demand; when he requires me to go the other mile, I go willingly, and show up his exploitation of my service for what it is. To leave everything behind at the call of Christ is to be content with him alone, and follow only him. By their willingly renouncing self-defense, Christians affirm their absolute adherence to Jesus, and their freedom from the tyranny of their own ego. The exclusiveness of this adherence is the only power which can overcome evil.

-from A Testament to Freedom, pg. 317

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