How do you feel about spiritual disciplines? Perhaps you cringe at hearing that question?
Can you relate to either of these concerns?
- Spiritual disciplines are religious and the opposite of the grace that is what the gospel is all about.
- I’m in a season of life that doesn’t seem to lend itself to any type of routine.
In light of these concerns, perhaps it will be helpful to hear that author David Mathis’ calls them “habits of grace.” Not convinced that’s any better?
Indeed, habits require practice and so at first sounds like an odd word to pair with grace. Like anything worth learning though, perhaps we have to decide if the benefit outweighs the cost.
- I hated practicing piano so I never learned to play.
- If I’m thirsty, I can say it 100 times, but if I’m standing next to the faucet, and don’t actually drink, some may doubt how thirsty I am.
Mathis says God’s “grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply,” and “There are paths along which he has promised his favor.” He continues: “We cannot earn God’s grace or make it flow apart from his free gift. But we can position ourselves to go on getting as he keeps on giving.”
So in response to the above concerns, if you are struggling to feel like these habits are determining his favor, maybe stop doing them. Rest in the fact that you don’t have to AND consider that anything worth fighting for will require sacrifice and effort.
What are you giving up by not pursuing opportunities that God has promised will lead to your good? Is it possible that God loves us enough that we really have choices about how to spend our time? Is it possible that he will use some “regular channels” to teach us to seek after him?
What about you? What concerns do you have about spiritual disciplines?
Next up: “Means of grace” as a choice