A German Lutheran Pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, wrote a book called “The Cost of Discipleship,” sometime before World War II. He was an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime during the 30s and 40s and was arrested and put in a concentration camp where he died about two days before the liberation of that camp by the allied armies in 1945. The book is a classic, and deservedly so, in its description of the cost of choosing the life of being a disciple of Jesus. And what makes it more so is that the author himself lived it out to the full in his life.

 

If we are ever afraid to speak the truth in love we have to ask ourselves why, and if it is simple that there might be a cost involved, whether to our reputation or even our life, we must pray for the grace to disregard the cost and speak the truth in love because that is what both love and the truth and being a disciple of Jesus demand of us. There can be no justice and no true love where truth does not abound; there is no true discipleship of Jesus and the Gospel where truth and love remain silent in the midst of sin.

 

We live in a world today where truth takes a relatively low place in the hierarchy of what is important when it comes to morality. The most important considerations seem to be acceptability, pleasure and ease of living and implementation. There is a definite tendency to avoid the truth as it is often unpalatable to those with the loudest voices and also harder to live than some sort of compromise position. Unfortunately, this position endangers the salvation of those who choose it! Our salvation is dependent upon our embracing the truth of the Gospel without deliberate compromise. This may not be easy but that is the nature of discipleship!

 

The question we all have to ask ourselves in the end is not what is going to be most comfortable to me or others, but what is the truth! This question is at the heart of discipleship and even if answering it faithfully means persecution, then that is the path we must choose.

 

Holy Spirit, help me to be inspired by the men and women who have faithfully embraced your call at great cost to themselves because they believed their duty to the truth to be greater than allegiance to any earthly institution.