November 22, 2008

eggs without shells

Quotes from Seeking the Face of God by Gary Thomas

Chapter 3 - Training the Body and Soul: Seven Methods of Spiritual Training*

"One of Satan's favorite traps is to let us acknowledge God's conviction, then cause us to mistakenly assume that just because we are convicted we are changed."

"Setting goals but being unwilling to train toward them leaves us worse off than ignoring goals altogether, for we have done nothing but add an element of insincerity to our lives."

"Spiritual training assumes we can change -- that the lazy can, in cooperation with the Spirit's work, become diligent, the selfish can learn to love, and the cruel can learn to be kind. We needn't see ourselves as slaves to the darker sides of our personalities."

""That's just the way I am" is a confession of sloth, not humility."

"...there is something sacred about the early side of morning... Early rising historically has been an important part of Christian spiritual training... There is a style of life generally consistent with those who cultivate spiritual growth and a style of life generally consistent with those who wouldn't know a spiritual thought unless it bit them in bodily form."

"... as I disciple others, especially younger men, I've noticed that many of the most troublesome difficulties occur in the late evening. A disciplined schedule can actually cut the opportunity to sin -- and, therefore, help cut the place of sin in our hearts and lives."

"If your prayers have become rote recitations of intercession, you're probably praying two or three hours too late."

"A righteous life and rigorous training without a heart full of grace is like an egg without a yolk -- a fragile shell that will break under the slightest pressure. Not only are Pharisees a bore and an active bother, thy eventually crack under the strain of impossible expectations. That is only one side of the truth, however, for though Pharisees are eggs without yolks, those who try to exist solely on mercy without structure or discipline are like eggs without shells -- a sticky, gooey mess."

"Legalism, on the one hand, and complacency, on the other, are the twin enemies to true Christian spirituality. Paul spoke scathingly of anyone who added a milligram to grace, but he could scarcely mention the word without adding, in essence, "But we don't continue to live the way we used to." (Romans 5:20-6:2)**

"The problem with so many of us is that we don't labor during the six days and we don't rest during the seventh. We live in the gray wasteland of killing time, which is neither restful nor productive. Thus we feel unable to keep one day devoted to rest because we failed to fill the previous six days with work."

Chapter 1 quotes
Chapter 2 quotes

*The 7 methods:
1. Pious Readings
2. Imitate Living Examples
3. Cultivate Virtues
4. Use Discomfort
5. Practice Holiness
6. Early Rising
7. Living a Life of Reflection

**Romans 5:20-6:2 -- "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, this is good stuff. I have his book Sacred Marriage in my tbr pile maybe I need to move it up a notch. These are the kinds of things I have been grappling with lately.