This weekend I start teaching a class called Spiritual Disciplines. In preparation for it, I have been reading “The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Dallas Willard. It’s a classic and, along with “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster, is the gold standard on the subject.
The subject of the disciplines has always been difficult for me because I have so often failed at maintaining them. I am by no means a shining example of a Christian fully engaged with the disciplines, and the thought of teaching on this subject gives me a bit of a stomach ache. Really, who am I to say word one here?
But I have sensed that God did not want me to delegate this class because I have more to learn than anyone. (In general, the teacher learns more than the students as he prepares a class.) And I have indeed learned a great deal. The book has both challenged and comforted me.
I am challenged because I see my need for the disciplines. I see now that, in order to continue to grow spiritually, I have to engage in these slow, inefficient practices. I am encouraged because I have come to understand that, though I am inconsistent in regards to prayer and devotional reading, my life is not void of the practice of the disciplines. In other words, I’m not nearly as bad a Christian as I thought I was.
If you’re in Columbus, come and learn with me and a few others what it means to be formed by the disciplines of the Spirit. Sunday at 9.