Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Words of Wisdom for the Weekend {Followers, not Admirers}

{Words for Wisdom for the Weekend: These are words that I have been challenged or encouraged by that I have read throughout my week that I kept pondering; words that I couldn't get off my mind and heart throughout my week. 
For other Words of Wisdom for the Weekend posts see here.}

This excerpt made an impact on me last year when reading through 'Bread and Wine ~ Readings for Lent and Easter' and it has challenged me just the same this year.


"It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression 'follower.' He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life of Christ is looking for.

"Christ understood that being a 'disciple' was in innermost and deepest harmony with what he said about himself. Christ claimed to be the way and the truth and the life (Jn 14:6) . . . His whole life on earth, from beginning to end, was destined solely to have followers and to make having admirers impossible.

"Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time . . . He came to be the pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join him, who would become his follower . . .

"And Christ's life indeed makes it manifest, terrifyingly manifest, what dreadful untruth, it is to admire the truth instead of following it. When there is no danger, when there is a dead calm, when everything is favorable to our Christianity, then it is all too easy to confuse an admirer with a follower. And this can happen very quietly. The admirer can be under the delusion that the position he takes is the true one, when all he is doing is playing it safe. Give heed, therefore, to the call of discipleship!

"The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in word he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, will not reconstruct his life, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires. Not so for the follower . . . The follower aspires with all his strength to be what he admires. And then, remarkably enough, even though he is living amongst a 'Christian people' he incurs the same peril he did when it was dangerous to openly confess Christ. And because of the follower's life, it will become evident who the admirers are, for the admirers will become agitated with him. Even these words will disturb many -- but then they must be likewise belong to the admirers."

~ Soren Kierkegaard [emphasis added]


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