Read 1 Corinthians 9:22-27
ALSO IN SCRIPTURE
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7, NLT)
One of the things that profoundly attracts me to Wesleyan Christian theology is the focus on spiritual discipline interwoven into it. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, strongly believed in the importance of maintaining a life of spiritual discipline. It was not just enough, for Wesley, to pray the “sinners prayer”, ask Jesus in your heart, and be done with it.
While Wesley did believe that we are saved by faith, and faith ALONE, he believed that such faith would manifest itself in good works. In other words, good works are the fruit that grow on the tree of faith. And the way to grow as a tree of faith is to practice spiritual disciplines such as observing a sacred time of rest (aka Sabbath), daily reading of the Scriptures, attending regular worship service and/or being active in the life of the Church, living out one’s faith through acts of compassion and mercy, studying, and other such things.
Today, in our fast paced world, it seems that we barely have time to brush our teeth and tie our shoes. Just this past week, I took my daughters to a couple softball games, softball practices, and a school Spring concert. And that stuff was just for my children. How can I or anyone find time to incorporate spiritual discipline? Yet, in reality, we do have time. We have all the time in the world for the things we prioritize.
The truth is that, if we are to be honest, most of us don’t prioritize practicing spiritual discipline in our lives. It’s not that we don’t have time to read the Bible, to pray, to observe a time of sacred rest, to be an active part of a community of worship, or to be a presence of love, mercy and compassion to those around us who need it; rather, it’s that we have not prioritized doing those things. Sure, we may do them here or there, but if the truth be told, we don’t find them to be THAT important in our lives.
Neglecting to nourish our soul, it’s no wonder many of us find ourselves so burned out and depressed. It’s not wonder some of us feel so overwhelmed by the challenges that seem to burden us day in and day out. If we are to maintain a healthy balance in our lives, if we are going to be whole and well beings, then we must maintain our spiritual health as much as we do our physical, emotional, and psychological health. Just like it does your body good to consume fresh vegetable and fruit produce and to feed your body whole and wholesome foods, it does your soul good for you to feed it the “food” it needs. Remember, you are not just a body or a mind, you are also a soul and if you are going to truly care for yourself—the way God wants you to—then you will make sure to prioritize spiritual discipline in your life.
THOUGHT OF THE DAY
“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” – John Wesley
Lord, help me to prioritize spiritual discipline in my life, that I may draw ever closer in my relationship with you. Amen.