Sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially

“Every act of self-discipline by a Christian is also a service to the community. Conversely, there is no sin in thought, word, or deed, no matter how personal or secret, that does not harm the whole community. When the cause of an illness gets into one’s body, whether or not anyone knows where it comes from, or in what member it has lodged, the body is made ill. This is the appropriate metaphor for the Christian community. Every member serves the whole body, contributing either to its health or to its ruin, for we are members of one body not only when we want to be, but in our whole existence. This is not a theory, but a spiritual reality that is often experienced in the Christian community with shocking clarity, sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” —Romans 12:4-5

#body-of-christ, #church-as-body, #dietrich-bonhoeffer, #influence

Others are a ‘burden’ for the Christian

Another Bonhoeffer quote, which one might quibble with a bit in its expression, but the sentiment certainly demands an amen.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Thus the law of Christ is a law of forbearance. Forbearance means enduring and suffering. The other person is a burden to the Christian, in fact for the Christian most of all. The other person never becomes a burden at all for the pagans. They simply stay clear of every burden the other person may create for them. However, Christians must bear the burden of one another. Only as a burden is the other really a brother or sister and not just an object to be controlled.

This quote was taken from the devotional series, 40 Day Journal Dietrich Bonhoeffer on BibleGateway.

#dietrich-bonhoeffer, #forbearance, #law-of-christ, #one-another