Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship - Chapter 6

So you probably just looked at the title and are now thinking; "Chapter 6?! Don't books start at chapter 1?" You would be correct, most books do in fact start at chapter one and that includes The Cost of Discipleship, however, I am currently on Chapter 7 and therefore will start with thoughts on Chapter 6. If I get around to blogging about another book, I will be sure to start from Chapter 1.

Chapter 6 - The Beatitudes

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy...
As if their own needs and their own distress were not enough, they take upon themselves the distress and humiliation and sin of others. They have an irresistible love for the down-trodden, the sick, the wretched, the wronged, the outcast and all who are tortured with anxiety. They go out and seek all who are enmeshed in the toils of sin and guilt. No distress is too great, no sin too appalling for their pity. If any man falls into disgrace, the merciful will sacrifice their own honour to shield him, and take his shame upon themselves. They will be found consorting with publicans and sinners, careless of the shame they incur thereby. In order that they may be merciful they cast away their most priceless treasure of human life, the personal dignity and honour. For the only honour and dignity they know is their Lord's own mercy, to which alone they owe their very lives.
(Excerpt from the Chapter)

As made apparent by the subheading in this small portion of the chapter, Bonhoeffer is talking about mercy. He is talking about what it means to take up the cross, to take up the cause of Jesus Christ and to live a life full of mercy. This particular passage stood out to me because I believe that this is how a follower of Christ should be living out their life. This definition of a merciful being is truly beautiful, however, it is more easily said than acted upon.

As I peer through Bonhoeffer's words I struggle to apply them to my life, while beautiful in thought, the reality is seemingly unrealistic. I find that I have to start with 'baby steps', if you will. After verifying Bonhoeffer's words through scripture I wake up the next morning and try to shape my life a little differently first thing in the morning.

Slowly, but surely, I attempt to become a man who would: "...cast away the most priceless treasure of human life, personal dignity and honour."

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