Friday 7/11/2014 5:07 AM
Today I read two excerpts from different authors that caught my attention. The first was by Charles de Foucauld in his book Meditations of a Hermit. He writes, “You (God) give your help, not in proportion to our merit, but to our needs.” I thought about a lot of people who I know who say that God has never done anything for them. I usually want to argue with them that God has given them life, their abilities, their health, their upbringing, etc., to remind them that God has really done everything for them but they generally do not see it, or they refuse to acknowledge it. There is a common saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” But de Foucauld would argue that if I can help myself I have no need, so God would not help. If I never acknowledge my need for God I should not be surprised when he fails to show up in my daily life.
The second quote was by Phillips Brooks, who exclaimed: “God’s mercy seat is no mere stall set by the vulgar road side, where every careless passer-by may put an easy hand out to snatch any glittering blessing that catches his eye. It stands in the holiest of holies. We can come to it only through veils and by altars of purification. To enter into it, we must enter into God.” When I was growing up I remember talking about “cheap grace” in my catechism classes. It is a term used by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book The Cost of Discipleship. He says that cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without repentance. Sometimes I am too nonchalant about sin in my life. I realize that I do things that are not pleasing to God but I am quick to remember that God forgives sin. God wants to mold me into the image of Christ, which requires a change in my lifestyle and in the way I treat others. If I am constantly consoling myself with the truth that God forgives sin, but do nothing to ask God to change my actions and thoughts, I need to question my faith. My life should be in a constant state of flux, moving me from introspective self-centeredness to a life of freely serving others, and that requires God’s intervention and my obedience.