The other evening I read “Day 33” from my 40 Days with Dietrich Bonhoeffer study. (Yes, I am well past 40 days). In part, it read:
“Every act of self-discipline by a Christian is also a service to the community. Conversely, there is no sin in thought, word or deed, no matter how personal or secret, that does not harm the whole community.”
After reading this, I thought, “I agree, wholeheartedly”. I dutifully responded in my journal, and then went to sleep, without giving it another thought. Until this morning.
The names of my students starting flooding my mind, people that I should be in prayer for. People that I’ve told that I would be in prayer for. But, I have not been in prayer for them. Why? My sin.
When I sin, it keeps me from praying for people.
When I sin, it keeps me from studying scripture as I ought.
When I sin, it keeps me from fellowship as I ought…it allows me to be in seclusion, away from others. When I sin, it keeps me from serving others.
“Every member serves the whole body, contributing either to its health or for its ruin, for we are members of one body not only when we want to be, but in our whole existence. This is not a theory, but a spiritual reality that is often experienced in the Christian community with shocking clarity, sometimes destructively, and sometimes beneficially.”
This cuts me to the heart, and my only response is to repent.