Losing self-righteousness

Jonathan Daniels was an Episcopal seminarian, who was killed on August 20, 1965, while participating in a civil rights campaign in Alabama. This remark of his reveals a deep faith as well as his recognition of the dangers of “mission” work, even if it is tied to justice.

“I lost fear. . . when I began to know in my bones and sinews that I had been truly baptized into the Lord’s death and Resurrection, that in the only sense that really matters I am already dead, and my life is hid with Christ in God. I began to lose self-righteousness when I discovered the extent to which my behavior was motivated by worldly desires and by the self-seeking messianism of Yankee deliverance! The point is simply, of course, that one’s motives are usually mixed, and one had better know it.”

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