I'm convinced that the only truly healing words are those of the Lord. But I am also convinced, that in His great mercy and grace, He chooses to use us -- incredibly broken, hurting people to point others to the cross and highlight truth. Brennan Manning is one such individual. His words are sincere and often fill my eyes with tears. But I think my favorite part about the truth Manning discusses throughout his books is simply this: we are all included in the message of Christ. Below are some of my favorite quotes from a few of Manning's books. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
precious pearls of wisdom
"You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted."
"The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friends, is what it really means to be a Christian."
"Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There we are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace."
"The Good News means we can stop lying to ourselves. The sweet sound of amazing grace saves us from the necessity of self-deception. It keeps us from denying that though Christ was victorious, the battle with lust, greed, and pride still rages within us."
Just as a little ending note, one of my favorite things about Brennan Manning is that he was an alcoholic. He's been divorced. He's just like any one of us -- a sinful, broken, ragamuffin. But God is using him. Paul persecuted the church like crazy before he became a believer. And look at how God used him to further the kingdom. God wants to use us too -- no matter how weak we are, how undeserving we feel, how many times we've failed, how many times we've been deliberately disobedient.
It doesn't matter if you've been a prostitute, a witch-doctor, the school bully, a terrorist, a teacher, a gardner, a karate-master. It doesn't matter where you've come from or what you've done. If you feel like you've felt like you've failed as a parent, a student, a teacher, a friend, an individual, you are included in the message of Christ -- broken hearts healed by unconditional love, sanctification, redemption, hope, joy, and victory.
God gives us the free gift of grace.
Not only that, but I'm prettyyyy confident He wants to play with us outside, kiss our bruises, and tuck us into bed at night. Just sayin' but if Jesus was still in human form on earth, we'd be playin' frisbee, picnicking, and biking around campus all day, everyday. He meets us where we are, knowing that we are going to make mistakes every single day, but He loves us anyway. Because God's love is not based off anything other than the fact that we are His children. He loves us -- completely unconditionally -- always and forever.