Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Spiritual disciplines?

In recent decades we've seen an upsurge in focus on practicing key spiritual disciplines toward a deeper walk with God and greater sanctification. Much good has been gained in the church and our lives as a result. At the same time, for performance-driven people like me, emphasizing spiritual disciplines has often caused us either to become proud of our spiritual accomplishments in keeping the disciplines well or become discouraged at our frequent failures. Tim Chester admirably helps address this issue when he writes the following:

"Some people call [such things as Bible reading, prayer, community, worship and service] spiritual disciplines. But I believe this is unhelpful terminology. It can make Christian growth seem like an achievement on our part. In reality, it's God who changes us through his grace. The only true spiritual disciplines in the Christian life are faith and repentance, actions that direct our attention to God's gracious activity. So I prefer the traditional term the means of grace. These are ways in which God is gracious to us and by which he strengthens his work of grace in our hearts. They are the means God uses to feed our faith in him. This is what sowing to the Spirit looks like in practice." - Tim Chester, You Can Change, p. 140

Well said.

No comments: