29 May 2008

"The other person....becomes an occasion of joy"

It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him….

Where this discipline of the tongue is practiced right from the beginning, each individual will make a matchless discovery. He will be able to cease from constantly scrutinizing the other person, judging him, condemning him…. Now he can allow the brother to exist as a completely free person, as God made him to be.

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.

~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

hat tip to Inward Outward blog

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