While John and Marti are on retreat, our good friend, Dave Roper will be providing our Catches each day. For more on Dave’s works, click here.
Remind them to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. Titus 3:2
The Greek philosopher Zeno wrote: “If you lay violent hands on me, you will have my body, but Stilpo (Zeno’s mentor) will have my soul.”
He is saying, in his Stoic way, that his body can be violated, but no one can violate his soul. Jesus’ apostle, Peter, says the same thing in another way: “No one can harm you (your soul) if you are zealous for what is good” (1 Peter 3:13).
Our souls are like fortresses whose walls cannot be breached and whose gates cannot be forced, but can only be opened from within. We can turn away the hate-filled rhetoric that characterizes political and social discourse these days, or we can embrace it as our own.
But once it finds its way into our souls, it becomes our rhetoric, our colloquy, and our shame.
George MacDonald remembers:
Why is it that so often I return
From social converse with a spirit worn,
A lack, a disappointment—even a sting
Of shame, as for some low, unworthy thing