Thursday, March 30, 2006

spiritual disciplines

“Ultimately spiritual disciplines are not something we choose for ourselves. This is another problem we have in our individualized, privatized form of religion in our culture. We think spiritual disciplines are something we take on. We decide we need to grow in some particular area of our spiritual life, so we set to work in this area and develop some ’spiritual disciplines.’ The problem is that when we develop our own spiritual disciplines, they have a way of being compatible with who we are and what we do… Genuine spiritual disciplines intrude onto our lives at points where we are in bondage to something that diminishes the word God speaks us forth to be. These disciplines occur in our bondage to our own brokenness from which God is seeking to liberate us. At the personal level, spiritual disciplines are not comfortable. Spiritual disciplines are a grace that comes to us from God… They are God’s doing all along - not our own.”
Shaped by the Word, Mulholland

M. Robert Mulholland is a NT professor at Asbury Theological Seminary.
He defines spiritual formation as
"the process of being conformed to the image of Christ for the sake of others."
Invitation to a Journey, Mulholland
Mulholland is well worth reading. I like how he sees the spiritual disciples as a part of the walk/journey that we take with and for the sake of others.

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