Nate used the following Bonhoeffer quote on his recent entry: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die”. This idea of “dying to self” is the most challenging theological idea to me right now. In the last two years, I have seen the birth of my child, rededicated myself to my marriage, landed a tenure-track University teaching position, bought a house, published articles, and began running races again. Self-absorbtion is my M.O. right now. I am so far away from “dying to self” it is sinful. And I mean sinful.

On the phone the other night, Nate said, ” I think there is a difference between living a life of humility and living a life with humble acts.” I think I’m doing a good job of being a good person because I often do good things for people. See what I mean: This is not the life of humility. It’s a guy who is merely masking his self-absorbtion with “good” deeds. I am more convinced that Jesus doesn’t want us to “do good deeds.” Jesus wants us to completely die and give ourselves over to His kingdom and His people.

I’m just not sure what that looks like right now. I’m praying, though. I promise you that.

Oh, the picture: Matthew 6 reminds us:

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
My problem is that not only does my left hand know what my right hand is doing, it is urging it to do more so it can get all the recognition. Then, they start clapping for themselves.
the elder
P.S. the younger says I write too much. Forgive me.