Deliberate Disobedience! (Bonhoeffer)

Excerpt from The Cost of Discipleship


I’ve been reading through The Cost of Discipleship and this was one short excerpt that I thought was very important:

“When people complain, for instance, that they find it hard to believe, it is a sign of deliberate or unconscious disobedience…The outcome is usually that self-imparted absolution confirms the man in his disobedience, and makes him plead ignorance of the kindness as well as the commandment of God. He complains that God’s commandment is uncertain, and susceptible of different interpretations. At first he was aware enough of his disobedience, but with his increasing hardness of heart that awareness grows ever fainter, and in the end he becomes so enmeshed that he loses all capacity for hearing the Word, and faith is quite impossible…It is time to take the bull by the horns, and say: ‘Only those who obey believe.’…‘You are disobedient, you are trying to keep some part of your life under your own control. That is what is preventing you from listening to Christ and believing in His Grace. You cannot hear Christ because you are willfully disobedient. Somewhere in your heart you are refusing to listen to his call. Your difficulty is your sins.’ Christ now enters the lists again and comes to grips with the devil, who until now has been hiding.”

“You do not fail in obedience through lack of love, but you lack love because you never attempted obedience.” (Bonhoeffer)

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