Wednesday, September 09, 2009

knowing and doing

Leo Tolstoy is known for some of the greatest writing ever, and for his powerful words on the kingdom of God and the difference that can make on this earth, and in this life. The problem is that he didn't live it out well, by some accounts. He and his wife lived in a love-hate (and maybe hate should be put in bold, or capitalized letters) relationship. (I learned this from this book)

We in Jesus know more than we do, or practice. As we go along in our lives, hopefully the gap is narrowing. I can look at my life and see how in some ways that certainly is true. The one who built his house on the rock in Jesus' story, not only heard his teachings, but based his life on them.

But is there value in someone's words, like Tolstoy's, even though it seems he didn't come close to living up to them? I think there is. He saw something in Jesus that was beautiful and true. Something that hopefully beckoned him on, and that most certainly helped him see that the answer is not in anything this world has to offer. A part of the hope in Jesus we have, as we pray, "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."

What do you think on this?

7 comments:

Lanny said...

I really appreciated the opportunity to read Tolstoy's book, "Confessions". In it he is very critical of his life in the art and poet's world that he and his wife had been submerged in. He found it false, shallow and completely self-absorbed. How hard it must have been to change a life when you are: already a published writer, within a marriage of nearly twenty years that was based on selfish pleasure.

Yes, it is a shame that when Tolstoy had his turn around to God that he could not fully bring his wife along on his new journey with him, but then Job wasn't very successful at that either.

So yes, there are things that muddle the scene of the converted life of Tolstoy, but there is a lot to learn from his denouncement of the base world he had lived in.

nannykim said...

Yes, I have been touched by some of Tolstoy's stuff and it is frustrating about his life. But we all fall short and I guess we need to really apply James exhortation to not look at ourselves in the mirror and then forget and live any which way. Really it is a lot more exciting to seek to live God's way, isn't it?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
Yes. Thanks for sharing that.

It does seem from Scot's view of it (the book I refer to on a link) that he was as much to blame as his wife. Or that at least he had serious faults in the marriage.

But yes, I do want to read from his writings, and your words encourage me more that direction.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nannykim,
You're so very right; it is.

Yes, James didn't mince words all the way around in that book. Faith without works is no faith at all.

nAncY said...

i agree with you.
i know that we all struggle in our faith as well as our relationships.

Ted M. Gossard said...

nAncY,
Yes. We need to work by grace to narrow the gap between what we know/read from Scripture, and how we live. But we must not despair. God is at work, and we're to work out of that, with fear and trembling, but also with confidence of God's faithfulness.

nAncY said...

thank you for being so very encouraging in your comments