I greatly enjoy reading a Kempis’ classic, The Imitation of Christ. It is profound in its simplicity. It was originally written as a journal. There’s not a lot of organization. The passages are short. But there is a lot there.

Gayle Beebe identifies eight central priorities about which a Kempis writes. “First, when we cultivate humility we destroy self-centeredness and enter the pathway to God. Then, humility allows us to develop a clear conscience based on the active cultivation of virtue. Next, we discover inner peace. As a result, everything in our life begins to flow out of a spontaneous response to the pure love of God. Then we are prepared to encounter the cross and discover the full impact of Christ. This helps us see that God wants to lead us into the life-changing experience of eternal life. As a result, we strive to become true imitators of Christ. Finally, we become ruled not by nature but by grace.”
Beebe also identifies thirty contrasts between nature and grace. Here are a few:
  • Nature is crafty and seductive, while grace walks in simplicity.
  • Nature is self-centered, while grace does everything purely for God.
  • Nature is lazy, while grace joyfully looks for something to do.
  • Nature is quick to complain, while grace endures all things resolutely.
  • Nature wants to be noticed by others, while grace wants to be noticed by God.