Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bonhoeffer on the Golden Rule

I found this interesting from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's pen regarding the Golden Rule.

To sum up: it is clear from the foregoing that the disciple has no special privilege or power of his own in all his intercourse with others.  The mainspring of his life and work is the strength which comes from fellowship with Jesus Christ.  Jesus offers his disciples a simple rule of thumb which will enable even the least sophisticated of them to tell whether this intercourse with others is on the right lines or not.  All he need do is to say ‘I’ instead of ‘Thou,’ and put himself in the other man’s place.  ‘All things whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.”  The moment he does that, the disciple forfeits all advantage over other men, and can no longer excuse in himself what he condemns in others.  He is as strict in condemning evil in himself as he was before with others, and as lenient with the evil in others as he was before to himself.  The evil in the other person is exactly the same evil as in ourselves.  There is only one judgment, one law, and one grace.  Henceforth the disciple will look upon other men as forgiven sinners who owe their lives to the love of God.  ‘This is the law and the prophets’ – for this is none other than the supreme commandment: to love God above all things and our neighbours as ourselves. -The Cost of Discipleship, 188.

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