We can agree with what the gospel says about our sinfulness without becoming overwhelmed by guilt and shame. Further, we do not have to prove that we are victims rather than victimizers out of a desperate effort to persuade ourselves that we are righteous. We have Christ’s righteousness already. We can rest in this.
God is a heart reader, not a lip reader
The real trouble is that ‘kindness’ is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that ‘his heart’s in the right place’ and ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly,’ though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.
Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty.
Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.
A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more.
If your faith does not affect your use of money, then your faith is a charade.
Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them. They have forgotten that they are here to serve Christ, not themselves.
Oath-taking is really a pathetic confession of our own dishonesty. What do we find it necessary to introduce our promises by some tremendous formula? The only reason is that we know our simple word is not likely to be trusted. So we try to induce people to believe us by adding a solemn oath.
Integrity is built by defeating the temptation to be dishonest; humility grows when we refuse to be prideful; and endurance develops every time you reject the temptation to give up.