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From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning Monastic Vows
We should even forsake our body for the gospel’s sake. But it would be ridiculous to think that suicide is a service to God, leaving the body without God’s command. Just so, it is silly to assert that it is a service to God to forsake possessions, friends, wife, children without God’s command.
Pulling It Together
God does not command certain pietistic practices of giving up property, friends, family, food, and clothing. Indeed, Jesus tells us to not be anxious about such things. A large part of the world is anxious about these things because they fear they will not have enough. There is, however, a smaller contingent who worries that by having these things at all, they are kept from righteousness. Life with God is not a matter of the body—of eating and drinking and clothing and shelter (Rom 14:13–23). Nor is it about the quantity of these things. Life in the Spirit is not about these things at all. Focusing on these externals blurs the proper focus. We ought to primarily seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, remembering that his kingdom does not consist of food, drink, or clothing but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit (Rom 14:17).
Prayer: Give me joy, Lord, deep down in my heart. Amen.
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