Lessons Learned from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Martyred by the Nazis in 1945 at the young age of 39, German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer impacted lives in his own generation, and through his legacy and his writings has continued to impact lives every since. I am grateful to a friend who encouraged me to read Eric Metaxas’ biography of him entitled Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.

There is much to admire about the faith and life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Here are some things that I have grown to admire.

– His faith in Christ was authentic.

– He was a deep thinker about spiritual things.

– He realized that because of where God had placed him in history, he had a responsibility to act upon his faith to very best of his God-given and God-strengthened abilities.

– He knew what it meant to live a life “wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove,” as Jesus teaches.

– He considered his decisions carefully, after much prayer and thought. He always considered all of the options to their logical conclusions.

– He was absolutely determined to fulfill God’s will. He knew that doing God’s will was the most important thing to do.

– He realized that God was at work in churches across denominations and around the world. He celebrated God’s work around the world.

– His faith in Christ was deep.

– His approach to spiritual growth was a simple, disciplined approach to daily Bible reading, meditating on God’s Word, and prayer.

– He had a good friend that confided in, a man with a common faith in Christ. Their friendship kept him grounded, encouraged, and in line with God’s will.

– He honored his parents, and had a high value on his relationship with his family.

– He invested in the next generation of Christian leaders. He made disciples. He was their teacher, their mentor, and their friend.

There is much more to write about. More next time…

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