One of the books I’m reading now (yes, I’m one of those people) is a biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. It’s like reading one of the gospels…hmm, it’s exactly like reading the gospels! Wow.
Anyway, I came upon a line today that I want to offer for your consideration. Bonhoeffer was German and I’m at the part of his timeline where Britain’s refused to cooperate with the conspiracy to take down Hitler. Hitler wanted to fight, and other nations were declaring war. In a letter to his nephew who was headed off to war the next day, Bonhoeffer counsels about how to relate to others he will meet. He reminds his nephew that his Christian upbringing, close family ties, and free commitment to principle sets him apart from those he will meet.
Bonhoeffer warns his nephew about the conflicts he will face because of his difference, “precisely because you come from a family of this kind, are different from most other people, different even to the smallest externals” (Metaxas, 2010, p. 412). Then he says this:
“The important thing is thus only that one conceive the ways one has an edge on others (and you definitely do!) not as your due but as a gift, and that you place yourself entirely at others’ disposal and truly like them, despite their different way of being” (p. 412).
Have you ever considered you have the advantage?
More than that, have you considered that your advantage is a gift to give to those who might “find” reason to oppose you?
What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?