Thursday, July 28, 2005

HEARTS & TREASURES; SPIRITUAL & MATERIAL

E. Stanley Jones was a Methodist missionary in India during the early to middle part of the 20th century. I find his numerous writings most insightful. Reading Matthew 6:25-34, I turned to Jones' reflection on this section of the Sermon on the Mount in The Christ of the Mount. I found this bit of wisdom:

“Fundamentally, the Christian does not own anything, not even himself. But he can use the material to the degree that it makes him more mentally, spiritually, and physically fit for the purposes of the kingdom of God.

The material is taken up into her life as a sculptor takes up a chisel, not as an end in itself, but as a means toward the end of a perfect statue. The material is not to be looked upon as evil but as an anvil, upon which are to be wrought out the purposes of the kingdom of God…

The material may be a cog or a clog. As long as it is a cog that fits into the purposes of the kingdom of God he may use it, but the moment it becomes a clog to his spiritual life, he must break with it, lest he himself be broken.”

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