Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Must-Read

Rarely will you ever me blog about something like this, but I have to tell you...The Imitation of Christ is one of the best books I have ever read, other than the word of God itself. Rarely will I ever recommend a book on Christian-living because I am somewhat choosy, but this writing is incredible. I have never read a more challenging book. If you can...read it. You may have to struggle through some old-english, but its worth it. It amazes me at how deep the insights are and it was written in the 1300's!!! Its very practical. Read it. Here are some quotes:

"There is no reality in anything except loving God and serving Him alone. Our highest wisdom is to seek the kingdom of heaven, rejecting the things of this world. You are only pursuing an empty phantom if you strive for riches that cannot last, and pin your hopes on them; if you canvass for honors and acquire distinction; if you obey your natural appetites and desire things which must bring punishment later; if you hope for a long life and care little for a good life; if you think only of this present life, and never give a thought to what comes after it; if you set your heart on things which pass away so quickly, and do not press on toward that place where lasting joy remains." (p. 38)

"A really great man has great love. A really great man is humble in his own eyes, and considers all distinction and honor worthless. A really wise man treats all earthly things as refuse in order to have Christ to his credit. A man who has really learnt something is one who does the will of God and abandons his own will." (p.42)

"The reason why you are so often angry and upset is because you are not yet completely dead to your own interests and separated from all that is earthly. There is nothing that pollutes and entangles the human heart so much as an unpurged love for things that have been created. Only if you refuse outward comforts will you be able to glimpse the things of heaven and often know the inward joy." (p. 86)

Read it. Seriously.


Joe Price said...

This book is a Christian classic, no doubt. I have not read it, but I hope to soon. Let me ask a few questions, to get your opinion. What do you know about the author, Thomas a Kempis? What do you know about the time period in which he was writing? How do you think his comments that you posted, particularly the last one, mesh with scripture? Do you think there is any instance where the last comment is wrong? Is anger a healthy emotion? Can anger be...godly? Does God ever get angry? Does Jesus ever get angry? Paul? Is it because of unpurged love for things that have been created," or is there another reason?

Earthen Vessel said...

Great questions that absolutely need to be addressed. Whenever we come to a reading we must keep these things in mind in order to get the correct perspective and influence that the writer is coming from. If you read this book, ask these questions yourself...it is an important discipline to do so whenever we read things that are not scripture themselves. Thomas a Kempis actually was part of a monestary and lived a life that we separated from the world which is blantantly obvious in his book. I don't really know about the time period, however. And there are implications that he makes in his writing that praises this kind of lifestyle. With that being said, you'll get a different understanding to what he means at the root of some of his writings. However, I don't think Kempis was talking about ALL anger, but that's just what I thought. He may have meant it that way coming from his background. I do agree that anger can be godly, and that its okay in the right context. Kempis, I think, was referring to perhaps Ephesians 4:31 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." He definitely has things that I do not personally agree with, however, there is some great truth and challenge that Kempis includes in this work.

JottinMama said...

Hello Friend!

This book sounds pretty fantastic.... I think I will be picking up a copy!

I'm thankful for YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kate :)

JottinMama said...

I just read Joe's comment....and those questions have me thinking.... thanks Joe!