Week 6 – Dag 3/Day 3: Ons het die swakke nodig/We need the weak

Dietrich Bonhoeffer het gesê…

Elke Christelike geloofsgemeenskap moet verstaan dat die swakke nie net die sterke nodig het nie. Die sterkte kan ook nie sonder die swakke bestaan nie. Die uitskakeling van die swakke beteken die dood van die gemeenskap van gelowiges.

Jak 2: 11 Moenie van mekaar kwaad praat nie, broers. Hy wat van sy broer kwaad praat of sy broer veroordeel, praat kwaad van die wet en veroordeel die wet. En as jy die wet veroordeel, handel jy nie meer volgens die wet nie, maar speel jy regter daaroor. 12… Maar jy, wie is jy om regter te speel oor jou naaste?

In sy boek, Life Together, noem Bonhoeffer sewe beginsels om selfsugtige ambisie in die Christelike geloofsgemeenskap uit te roei. Dit is waaraan ons die volgende paar dae aandag gaan gee.

Die eerste noem hy die “bediening van stilbly”. Dit gaan hier oor die dissipline om nooit iets uit te spreek wat ons medemens kwaad kan aandoen nie. Die Bybel benadruk dat God dit nie duld nie. Ps 50 benadruk dat die Here nie sal stilbly wanneer ons teen ons broer kwaadpraat nie (Ps 50:20,21) Jakobus sê dat ons ons in die plek van God stel wanneer ons oor ons medemens oordeel (Jak 4:11-12). Die wet van God gaan oor liefde, nie oordeel nie. Ons woorde moet opbouend wees (Ef 4:29).

Wat gebeur wanneer ons nie oor ander oordeel nie? Bonhoeffer skryf dat ons die ander persoon laat bestaan as ’n algehele vry persoon, wat God hom of haar bedoel het om te wees. Nou sien ons die wonder van God se skeppende heerlikheid oor die lewe van die ander persoon skyn. Nou verheug ons ons oor die ander en sien ons die beeld van God in die ander.

Hoekom is hierdie houding so belangrik? Op hierdie manier vind ons elkeen ons Godgegewe plek in vryheid binne die geloofsgemeenskap. As ons mekaar gedurig kritiseer, voel mense dat hulle nie meer enige bydrae het om in die geloofsgemeenskap te lewer nie. Immers, elke individu, skryf Bonhoeffer, is ’n onvervangbare skakel in die kettings. Elkeen moet vry wees om sy of haar bydrae te lewer.

Bonhoeffer se woorde is waar vir alle verhoudinge. Kinders kan net werklik hulle gawes ontdek as hulle nie gedurig gekritiseer word vir wat hulle doen nie. ’n Huweliksmaat kan slegs sy of haar rol positief vervul as ons mekaar toelaat om te wees, nie as ons verwag dat sy of hy soos ons moet wees nie. Mag ons vandag mekaar bedien deur stil te bly en ons die reg ontsê om ander te oordeel.

Here, vul ons met U Gees van genade, sodat ons ander met genade sal behandel en ons die reg sal ontsê om ander te oordeel, in Jesus se Naam. Amen.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said…

Every Christian community must realise that not only in the week need a strong, but also that this strong cannot exist without the weak. The elimination of the weak is the death of the fellowship.

James 2: 11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbour?

In his book, Life Together, Bonhoeffer mentions seven principles to eradicate selfish ambition in the Christian community. We will focus on these principles over the next few days.

The first he calls the “ministry of holding one’s tongue”.   This is the discipline of not expressing something about our fellow human beings that could cause him or her any harm. The Bible is clear that God does not want us to harm our fellow human beings with our words. In Psalm 50, we see that the Lord cannot be silent when we speak against our brother (Ps 50:20,21). James says that we are placing ourselves in a position of God when we judge others (James 4:11-12). The law of God is about love, not about judgement. Our words should be edifying (Eph 4:29).

What happens when we do not judge others? Bonhoeffer writes that we then allow the other person to exist as an absolutely free person , what God intended him or her to be, “ for the first time he sees shining above his brethren, the richness of God’s creative glory.” We are now happy about the other person and celebrate the other person because we see the image of God in him or her.

Why is this attitude so important?   Because each person now finds his or her God-given place in the freedom within the community of believers. If we criticise one another, some people might lose hope and feel that they have no contribution to make to the fellowship anymore. Each individual is an indispensable link in the chain , says Bonhoeffer. Each person should be free to serve.

Bonhoeffer’s words are true for all relationships. Children can only discover their gifts if they are not constantly criticised for what they are doing. A marriage partner can only fulfil his or her role in a positive way if we allow one another to be, not to be like us. May we serve one another today by holding our tongue and to disown ourselves the right to judge others.

Lord, fill us with your spirit of grace, so that we will be able to treat others with grace and disown ourselves the right to judge others, in Jesus name. Amen.

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