Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quotes About Wit

Browse 58 famous quotes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer about Wit.

"True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, however clearly we may be aware of its dangers. In the last resort it is immaterial whether we pray in the open street or in the secrecy of our chambers, whether briefly or lenghtily, in the Litany of the Church, or with the sigh of one who knows not what he should pray for. True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Lord, whatsoever this day may bring, Thy name be praised. Be gracious unto me and help me. Grant me strength to bear whatsoever Thou dost send, And let not fear overrule me. I trust Thy grace, and commit my life wholly into Thy Hands. Whether I live or whether I die, I am with Thee and Thou are with me … Lord, I wait for Thy salvation, and for the coming of Thy Kingdom. Amen." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ's sake. Therefore, human love seeks direct contact with the other person; it loves him not as a free person but as one whom it binds to itself. It wants to gain, to capture by every means; it uses force. It desires to be irresistible, to rule." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"God hates this wishful dreaming because it makes the dreamer proud and pretentious. Those who dream of this idealized community demand that it be fulfilled by God, by others, and by themselves. They enter the community of Christians with their demands, set up their own law, and judge one another and even God accordingly." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"[Paul] has no intention to instruct the Christian community about the task and responsibility of government. His entire concern is with the responsibility of the Christian community towards the State." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"In the New Testament our enemies are those who harbour hostility against us, not those against whom we cherish hostility, for Jesus refuses to reckon with such a possibility. The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behaviour must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"If there is no element of asceticism in our lives, if we give free rein to the desires of the flesh (taking care of course to keep within the limits of what seems permissible to the world), we shall find it hard to train for the service of Christ. When the flesh is satisfied it is hard to pray with cheerfulness or to devote oneself to a life of service which calls for much self-renunciation." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"God can make a new beginning with people whenever God pleases, but not people with God. Therefore, people cannot make a new beginning at all; they can only pray for one. Where people are on their own and live by their own devices, there is only the old, the past." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"We are torn out of our own existence and set down in the midst of the holy history of God on earth. There God dealt with us, and there he still deals with us, our needs and our sins, in judgment and grace." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"While we exert ourselves to grow beyond our humanity, to leave the human behind us, God becomes human; and we must recognize that God wills that we be human, real human beings. While we distinguish between pious and godless, good and evil, noble and base, God loves real people without distinction." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The scriptures do not present us with a series of Christian types to be imitated according to choice; they preach to us in every situation the one Jesus Christ." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"If my sinfulness appears to me in any way smaller or less detestable in comparison with the sins of others, I am still not recognizing my sinfulness at all." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us (Mark 15:34).[...] Before God and with him we live without God. God allows himself to be edged out of the world and onto the cross. God is weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learnt the arts of equivocation and pretence; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical. Are we still of any use? What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest, and straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"But it is a dangerous error, surely very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself. For then we confuse wishes, hopes, sighs, laments, rejoicings–all of which the heart can do by itself–with prayer. And we confuse earth and heaven, man and God. Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one's heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty. No man can do that by himself. For that he needs Jesus Christ." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"If my sin appears to me to be in any way smaller or less reprehensible in comparison with the sins of others, then I am not yet recognizing my sin at all. My sin is of necessity the worst, the most serious, the most objectionable. Christian love will find any number of excusesfor the sins of others; only for my sin is there no excuse whatsoever. That is why my sin is the worst. Those who would serve others in the community must descend all the way down to this depth of humility. How could I possibly serve other persons in unfeigned humility if their sins appear to me to be seriously worse than my own? If I am to have any hope for them, then I must not raise myself above them. Such service would be a sham. "Do" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"How would you expect to find community while you intentionally withdraw from it at some point? The disobedient cannot believe; only the obedient believe." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Unless we have the courage to fight for a revival of wholesome reserve between man and man, we shall perish in an anarchy of human values… . Socially it means the renunciation of all place-hunting, a break with the cult of the "star," an open eye both upwards and downwards, especially in the choice of one's more intimate friends, and pleasure in private life as well as courage to enter public life. Culturally it means a return from the newspaper and the radio to the book, from feverish activity to unhurried leisure, from dispersion to concentration, from sensationalism to reflection, from virtuosity to art, from snobbery to modesty, from extravagance to moderation." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Only because the message concerning Jesus Christ must still go forth and find believers, and because our task is not yet perfected, does God in His patience continue to sustain us with His good gifts." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself—a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,… when in the fullness of tasks, questions, success or ill-hap, experiences and perplexities, a man throws himself into the arms of God… then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"So many people come to church with a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet they are always going back home with the uncomfortable feeling that we are making it too difficult for them to come to Jesus." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depths of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Those who wish even to focus on the problem of a Christian ethic are faced with an outrageous demand-from the outset they must give up, as inappropriate to this topic, the very two questions that led them to deal with the ethical problem: 'How can I be good?' and 'How can I do something good?' Instead they must ask the wholly other, completely different question: 'What is the will of God?" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"In me there is darkness,But with You there is light;I am lonely, but You do not leave me;I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;I am restless, but with You there is peace.In me there is bitterness, but with You there is patience;I do not understand Your ways,But You know the way for me.""Lord Jesus Christ,You were poorAnd in distress, a captive and forsaken as I am.You know all man's troubles;You abide with meWhen all men fail me;You remember and seek me;It is Your will that I should know YouAnd turn to You.Lord, I hear Your call and follow;Help me." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Will not the very moment of great disillusionment with my brother or sister be incomparably wholesome for me becuase it so thoroughly teaches me that both of us can never live by our own words and deeds, but only by that one Word and deed that really binds us together, the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ? The bright day of Christian community dawns wherever the early morning mists of dreamy visions are lifting" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Things do exist that are worth standing up for without compromise. To me it seems that peace and social justice are such things, as is Christ himself." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Bless them that persecute you.' If our enemy cannot put up with us any longer and takes to cursing us, our immediate reaction must be to lift up our hands and bless him. Our enemies are the blessed of the Lord. Their curse can do us no harm. May their poverty be enriched with all the riches of God, with the blessing of Him whom they seek to oppose in vain. We are ready to endure their curses so long as they redound to their blessing." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"In a word, live together in the forgiveness of your sins, for without it no human fellowship, least of all a marriage, can survive. Don't insist on your rights, don't blame each other, don't judge or condemn each other, don't find fault with each other, but accept each other as you are, and forgive each other every day from the bottom of your hearts…" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared' (Luther)." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"If we want to be Christians, we must have some share in Christ's large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom when the hour of danger comes, and by showing a real sympathy that springs, not from fear , but from the liberating and redeeming love of Christ for all who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. The Christian is called to sympathy and action, not in the first place by his own sufferings, but by the sufferings of his brethren, for whose sake Christ suffered." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Luther had said that grace alone can save; his followers took up his doctrine and repeated it word for word. But they left out its invariable corollary, the obligation to discipleship...The justification of the sinner in the world degenerated into the justification of sin and the world. Costly grace was turned into cheap grace without discipleship." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The dividing line will run right through the confessing Church. Even if we make the confession of faith, it gives us no title to any special claim upon Jesus. We can never appeal to our confession or be saved simply on the ground that we have made it...The man who says "Lord, Lord" has either called himself to Jesus without the Holy Spirit, or else he has made out of the call of Jesus a personal privilege." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"And in the Incarnation the whole human race recovers the dignity of the image of God. Henceforth, any attack even on the least of men is an attack on Christ, who took the form of man, and in his own Person restored the image of God in all that bears a human form. Through fellowship and communion with the incarnate Lord, we recover our true humanity, and at the same time we are delivered from that individualism which is the consequence of sin, and retrieve our solidarity with the whole human race. By being partakers of Christ incarnate, we are partakers in the whole humanity which he bore. We now know that we have been taken up and borne in the humanity of Jesus, and therefore that new nature we now enjoy means that we too must bear the sins and sorrows of others. The incarnate Lord makes his followers the brothers of all mankind." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Being free means "being free for the other," because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free" ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Nothing is so at odds with prayer as vanity." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The Christian, however, must bear the burden of a brother. He must suffer and endure the brother. It is only when he is a burden that another person is really a brother and not merely an object to be manipulated. The burden of men was so heavy for God Himself that He had to endure the Cross. God verily bore the burden of men in the body of Jesus Christ. But He bore them as a mother carries her child, as a shepherd enfolds the lost lamb that has been found. God took men upon Himself and they weighted Him to the ground, but God remained with them and they with God. In bearing with men God maintained fellowship with them. It was the law of Christ that was fulfilled in the Cross. And Christians must share in this law." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"God did not make this person as I would have made him. He did not give him to me as a brother for me to dominate and control, but in order that I might find above him the Creator. Now the other person, in the freedom with which he was created, becomes the occasion of joy, whereas before he was only a nuisance and an affliction. God does not will that I should fashion the other person according to the image that seems good to me, that is, in my own image; rather in his very freedom from me God made this person in His image. I can never know beforehand how God's image should appear in others. That image always manifests a completely new and unique form that comes solely from God's free and sovereign creation. To me the sight may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every man in the likeness of His Son, the Crucified. After all, even that image certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"What determines our brotherhood is what that man is by reason of Christ. Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us. This is true not merely at the beginning, as though in the course of time something else were to be added to our community; it remains so for all the future and to all eternity. I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, for eternity." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Barth was the first theologian to begin the criticism of religion...but he set in its place the positivist doctrine of revelation which says in effect, 'Take it or leave it': Virgin Birth, Trinity or anything else, everything which is an equally significant and necessary part of the whole, which latter has to be swallowed as a whole or not at all. That is not in accordance with the Bible. There are degrees of perception and degrees of significance, i.e. a secret discipline must be re-established whereby the mysteries of the Christian faith are preserved from profanation." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"The person who waits upon moods in impoverished. If the painter only wanted to paint when in the mood for it, he would not get very far. In religion, as in art and science, along with the times of high excitement, there are times of sober work and practice. We must practice our communion with God, otherwise we will not find the right tone, the right word, the right language, when God surprises us with his presence." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"If Christ has been given us, if we are called to his discipleship we are given all things, literally _all_ things. He will see to it that they are added unto us. If we follow Jesus and look only to His righteousness, we are in his hands and under the protection of Him and His Father. And if we are in communion with the Father, nought can harm us. God will help us in the hour of need, and He knows our needs." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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Ten long trips around the sun since I last saw that smile, but only joy and thankfulness that on a tiny world in the vastness, for a couple of moments in the immensity of time, we were one."
Author: Ann Druyan

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