grace-based discipline

I long to live a disciplined life.  I have high goals and expectations for myself.  I so often fall so very short.

As a result, for much of my adult life, I've lived in frustration and with guilt and failure as my constant companions.

Two things helped lift me out of my depression.  First, simply, God was gracious.  He restored to me the joy of my salvation.  Second, about a year after coming back alive, I read The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges; it is changing my life.

Bridges introduced me to the concept of "dependent discipline."  Like an airplane needs two wings to fly, we need to be both responsible and dependent as we pursue holiness.

Before 2005, I knew of all these things I should be doing--good spiritual disciplines that every Christian is told to do.  But, I was attempting to do them on my own power and in my own ability.  Doing them well, I thought, would cause God to be pleased with this "good and faithful servant."  Not doing or not doing them well would cause God to be disappointed and angry with me.  For salvation I was trusting in Christ, but for sanctification I was trusting in myself.

Reading The Discipline of Grace first taught me that as a believer I still need the Gospel everyday.  This makes me smile.  Good news.  I like good news . . . Truth sets me free--day after day.

Second, this book has shown me that the Holy Spirit works in me to enable me to live a life that is pleasing to God.  He doesn't do the work for me . . . instead, He enables me to to do the work.  Depending on God does not make my effort unnecessary--it makes it effective.

I love the "thesis" of Bridge's book: "Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace.  And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."

I still long to live a disciplined life, to be more like Christ, to pursue holiness.  Only now, I long for discipleship that is based on God's grace.

"We cannot perform our duty without the grace of God; nor does God give
his grace for any other purpose than that we may perform our duty"
(John Owen).

This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty sponsored by following an unknown path.  This week the theme is The Beauty of Discipline and is being
hosted by Scribblings by BlairJoin us next week for The Beauty of  Hope over at Sara's Stones of Remembrance.


  1. Hey, good to see you back on the carnival wagon :) I on the other hand have been very undisciplined and fallen off the last couple of weeks. Maybe next week.........a post about living in hope that this baby will come soon...... hee hee

  2. I've read the Pursuit of Holiness and the Practice of Godliness by him a number of years ago, sounds like the Discipline of Grace would be a great book to read too, i'll keep an eye out for it next time i'm in a bookstore!

  3. Awww...(((hug)))...your post almost made me cry because I can see myself and empathize with the agony of being or feeling undisciplined. My mother always disciplined me for my lack of self-discipline. I have struggled with this probably more than anything else in my life. I'm gradually learning to accept that this is just who I am. It's not my spiritual gift. LOL I'm flighty and creative and I can't concentrate...I'm not a focused, diligent administrator type like my sister. I'll have to read this book. I marked it on my list at Amazon. I have had to learn to show myself grace and just take one day at a time and not measure myself up to other disciplined people. I mean, I have enough self discipline to get me through life, like feed my family, do the laundry, etc...but I'm not perfect, which is where I want to be, which is a sin to want to be perfect, because that means I want to be like a God...
    *sigh* You have a sweet, pure heart.
    PS: Black cherry kool-aide is my very favorite and I used to send it to my friends in Turkey who loved it too. It's a tiny, cheap package of America.
    Could you please share sometime what you do there and share your successes? I want to come see you and work with you for a week or two or a month or 6 months...etc. Do you think my husband would let me? LOL (not).

  4. LOVE this post Amanda!! This is along similar lines that I felt impressed with as well. I am going to have to read that book I think :)
    Thank you so much for sharing this....we are to have freedom in Christ right - not more bondage! Great, great thoughts..
    love ya girl!


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