Warfare Spirituality

bonhoeffer 3Often we combat our evil thoughts most effectively if we absolutely refuse to allow them to be verbalized. It is certain that the spirit of self-justification can only be overcome by the spirit of grace; and it is just as certain that the individual judgmental thought can be limited and suppressed by never allowing it to be spoken except as a confession of sin....

Thus it must be a decisive rule of all Christian community life that each individual is prohibited from talking about another Christian in secret. It is clear and will be shown in what follows that this prohibition does not include the word of admonition that is spoken personally to one another. However, talking about others in secret is not allowed even under the pretense of help and goodwill. For it is precisely in this guise that the spirit of hatred between believers always creeps in, seeking to cause trouble.

Biblical Wisdom
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Questions to Ponder
Talking with people about someone else you are having trouble with when they are not there is called "triangulation." In what ways does triangulation harm a community of faith?
How can a community of faith enforce the rule "that each individual is prohibited from talking about another Christian in secret"?
Would this be a good rule to generalize and apply to the workplace, school, families, among friends? Why, or why not?


Psalm Fragment
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not turn my heart to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with those who work iniquity.... Psalm 141:3-4

Journal Reflections
Have you ever experienced being triangulated․being talked about negatively when you where not there? If so, write about the experience. How did it feel?
Have you ever engaged in triangulation? If so, write about the experience. How did it feel?


Prayer for Today
Spirit of love, may the words I speak be the kind that build people up.

40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.

WarfareAudio & Video

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Reflections to Consider

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Warfare Publications

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Publications

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Warfare Music

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Music

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Warfare Reflection

  • Warfare Spirituality

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
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Audio & Video

  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
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Favorites

  • Soaring by Surrendering +

    How do birds soar? Read More
  • Forgiveness Leads to Thriving: John 21 +

    How we deal with our daily sins determines whether others see Jesus in us. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
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