Browsing All posts tagged under »Dietrich Bonhoeffer«

I Will Give You the Treasures of Darkness (Tanzania Part II)

December 29, 2011


Everyone is wired differently. The things that motivate one person may fall flat when used to motivate someone else. I have found that I am wired to be needed. Let me clarify. If someone approaches me with a request that I can’t turn down (the Godfather request); basically telling me that I have to do something, then my first instinct is to dig my heels in and resist, regardless of whether or not I want to do it OR have the spare time to do it. Reason usually wins out in the end and I determine whether or not I can fully commit to the request or not.

However, if someone approached me and I am there last option and instead of telling me that I have to do it, they appeal to me based on their valid need for me to help them out; then I have a hard time saying no to that type of request. It usually leads to me overcommitting myself and stressing myself out, but the service tends to be its own reward. Those of you, who give of your time to charitable works, understand what I mean by that.

Be the Exception to the Rule

August 25, 2011


People in the church often err by labeling groups of people with broad strokes (e.g. liberals, democrats, homosexuals, etc.) and not spend the time to see that all people are unique individuals. There may be similarities, but just as all church attenders are not identical clones of one another, people outside of the church are not either, regardless of what group one labels them with. The reverse is also true, non-church folks tend to label church folks as all being hypocrites, illogical, insecure or hateful. If that were true, how do they account for Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Mother Theresa? Here’s the hope. When we individually as Christians engage non-Christians in a Christ-like manner, an amazing thing happens; it helps to falsify the stereotype of Christians that others may have previously held. Individuals impacted by our Christ-like actions can no longer claim (at least not honestly) or live comfortably with their previous label for “all Christians”. They are forced to broaden their prior stereotypical thinking to now include, at the very least, exceptions to the rule. They can no longer use “All Christians are…” because they now know a Christian who does not do that. It’s a two way street. As the Christian, in this case my friend, got to know this transgendered individual as a unique person with common human fears, hurts, dreams and hope – we begin to see others more and more like ourselves. Our common humanity is reinforced and mankind’s artificial “walls of separation” are broken down, if only a little bit.