The Matchless Discovery by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich_Bonhoeffer_Life_TogetherEach individual will make a matchless discovery. He will be able to cease from constantly scrutinizing the other person, judging him, condemning him, putting him in his particular place where he can gain ascendancy over him and thus doing violence to him as a person. Now he can allow the brother to exist as a completely free person, as God made him to be. His view expands and, to his amazement, for the first time he sees, shining within his brethren, the richness of God’s creative glory. God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find within him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God’s image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely form God’s free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.Strong and weak, wise and foolish, gifted or ungifted, pious or impious, the diverse individuals in the community are no longer incentives for talking and judging and condemning, and thus excuses for self-justification. They are rather cause for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book Life Together

3 thoughts on “The Matchless Discovery by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  1. I especially connected with this statement, “He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find within him the Creator.” A reminder to look for and see the unique way the spirit of Christ manifests itself in everyone; rather than wanting others to be just like us. I have seen you do this more and more recently Tony, as you show love to everyone you meet, and accept them for who they are.

    1. Agreed @suemaden I used to want everyone in Christ to see and know Jesus the way I see and know Jesus. Now when the Holy Spirit gives me a nudge the brother or sister knows Jesus, I just greet and encourage them where they are ❤️

  2. I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer! I have a couple of his books and all of the DVD’s of his life story. Not as easy for me to read anymore but I have watched all the DVD’s many times. There’s a richness via the Love of Christ that resonates through him for sure!

    Here’s one of the things he shares which I see we are seeing today. Bonhoeffer said; “I’ve been thinking about what Christ will mean in the future…. we’ll need a new form of Christianity…a time when the world has come of age… I think there’s only one purpose of religion in a modern world where people must come and share each other’s sufferings, and share the suffering of God in a godless world. We need more than just a religion in the former sense; we need faith and Jesus Christ at its center. Real Christianity means sharing each other’s pain. It is not for us to prophesy the day when men will once more ask God that the world be changed, and renewed, but when that day arrives there will be a ‘new language’, perhaps quite non-religious, but liberating and redeeming as was Jesus’ language. It will shock people. It will shock them by its power. It will be the language of a new truth proclaiming God’s peace with men. “

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