Monday, December 28, 2009

The Spirit of the Disciplines

If a child wanted to play baseball like his favorite baseball player, could he accomplish this by simply mimicking that player in a game situation? Of course not. Because what that child doesn't see is that there is an entire lifestyle of training that goes into being that kind of a player on the field. Likewise, a concert pianist doesn't play pieces well because she concentrates really hard when she gets up to perform. It is a lifetime of work that goes into performing difficult pieces with ease.

Then why is it that we as Christians think that we can act like Christ simply by understanding what he did in the moments recorded in scripture? Is it really realistic to ask ourselves "What would Jesus do?" in a key situation without living the kind of lifestyle that Jesus lived in secret?

These are the kinds of questions that Dallas Willard poses in his enlightening book The Spirit of the Disciplines. This book has been a great help to me in understanding practical Christian living. I highly recommend it to anyone who would wish to understand the Christian disciplines.

"So, if we wish to follow Christ-and to walk in the easy yoke with him-we will have to accept his overall way of life as our way of life totally. Then, and only then, we may reasonably expect to know by experience how easy is the yoke and how light the burden". -Dallas Willard

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