Patricia Hofer

The living Lord writes on “human hearts”

Although they may not always admit it, trusting isn’t easy for Christians. During the first half of my life, I was constantly scrambling, trying to find ways to prop up my believing. … And that’s why Hannah Whitall Smith’s writing can be so helpful. She, too, was searching for a more secure and confident faith. That led her to become first a member and then a leader of the 19th century Holiness Movement. Its strict focus on “the outward law of righteousness” did reassure her for a while. But then Smith discovered that relying too much on dutiful and righteous actions didn’t bring the freedom she thought it would. In fact, it did just the opposite. She was continually burdened by “self-effort and self-dependence” (The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life 175). As Paul told his followers, being a Christian isn’t about following a list of outward, righteous behaviors. “The Spirit of the living God” is, instead, written on “human hearts” (NRSV 2 Cor. 3:3-5). And the living Lord, alone, does the writing. We need only to offer a humble and yielding heart. (Drawn from Living Strong, chapter 28, ©️ 2014)

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