Emma by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
50 chapters of exasperation with the main character Emma, gives way to relief in the end.
Frivolous and meddling thoughts will lead to thoughtless and unkind speech at some point, as it does for Emma. We need to deal with people in truth and love. Not as our personal projects to improve, but as image bearers of God in their own right, no matter how provincial or annoying they may be.
Sheep often like to try shepherding others right when they most need to be shepherded themselves. This is Emma. Her shepherd stares her in the face the whole time, but she is oblivious, self-deceived and just clueless. He is willing to give her a straight forward yet loving rebuke, instead of play coy games that toy with her heart, as she and others do to each other in the book.
Peter Leithart's book, Miniatures and Morals, was a helpful reading companion.
Are you really seeking the good of that other person you are dealing with, or are you advancing your agenda, stroking your ego, and exalting yourself before others?
That is Austen's question for you in Emma.
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