The Demands of Human Nature and the Christian Offer

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Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.

CONSIDER THIS

We saw yesterday that the Christian way is the way—the way to do everything—to think, to act, to feel, to be in every single situation. This is for God and man and for man in his individual and social attitudes, acts, and relationships. There are just two things in life—the way and not-the-way. If God should act against the way, He wouldn’t be God; He would be something less and something other. And if man acts against the way, he is something less than man and something other.

Are these the statements of an overenthusiastic Christian propagandist, or simply an interpretation of what life itself says? Is life rendering a verdict, and is that verdict a Christian verdict? For more than half a century I have lived amid world currents of thought and life in East and West, and the deepest conviction of my life is that the Christian way is proving itself to be the way. I watch with breathless interest the unfolding of a drama on the stage of the world, and that drama has one theme: by putting the Christian way under the test of life to see which way life approves, the Christian way is turning out to be the way. No more important statement has come from psychiatry than the statement of M. Boss, head of the International Analytical Association and professor of psychotherapy in the University of Zurich, when I asked him, “You seem to have put your Christian faith and your psychiatry together: how did you do it?” He replied, “When I began my work as a psychiatrist I had difficulty, for I began as a Freudian, but the demands of human nature drove me back to the Christian position.” What human nature demanded for its fulfillment, the Christian faith offered. Suppose the basic demands of human nature and the Christian faith were at cross purposes. Then we would be in trouble—deep trouble, life trouble.

THE PRAYER

O Father God, by trial and error we are coming out to the way to live, and that way is turning out to be the way—the way revealed in Thy Son. We are not in trouble—we are in triumph. We sing with quiet hallelujahs. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY

If I take any way except the way, it will turn out to be a dead end.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.

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