Sunday, March 17, 2013

aren't we all bruised reeds?

Not Breaking the Bruised Reeds

Some of us tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged. Instead of repairing them we say: "Well, I don't have time to fix it, I might as well throw it in the garbage can and buy a new one." Often we also treat people this way. We say: "Well, he has a problem with drinking; well, she is quite depressed; well, they have mismanaged their business...we'd better not take the risk of working with them." When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.

We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak.

 - Henri J. M. Nouwen

Friday, March 08, 2013

are we really nonjudgmental?

Towards a Nonjudgmental life

One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices.  Sometimes we aren't even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are.  We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in colour, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle [socioeconomic status - blogger added] as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.

Strangers, people different than we are, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility.  They make us lose our sense of security just by being "other."  Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at "those other persons" as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in being human is an expression of the immense richness of God's heart.  Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.

 - Henri J.M. Nouwen

Monday, March 04, 2013

grace unshackled

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  - Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

Do we see Jesus as our perfect 'model'
or our perfect righteousness?

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.  - 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24  (ESV)

Let go of performance-based Christianity,
and rest in His finished work!