READING

Instead of doing actual homework here at MBI-Spokane, they just make us read books. But that’s okay. Here are some of the things I’ve been learning.

Unless people see that they have a deep spiritual need that goes beyond a simple trying-harder cure, there will be little interest in spiritual formation.

A superficial concept of sin is too optimistic about the human condition and too pessimistic about the redeeming intent and function of God’s generating grace.

Spontaneous moments of depravity mix with a growing awareness of our capacity for wrongdoing. When we see the depth, persistence, and hideousness of our sin, there arise sharp concerns over the possibility of true transformation. Seeing our sin for what it is need not lead to despair; it can lead to spiritual liberation. When we perceive the true depth of our sin instead of merely being embarrassed over individual sins, we are prompted to seek the grace that can heal.

Jealousy asks: Is God good, or will he leave me empty and bless others?…Shame asks: Does God love me, or will he hate me if he sees me as I really am?

We must constantly remind ourselves that obedience to God’s plan may cost us convenience but never joy. Obedience really amounts to accepting the gracious invitation of God to a more sensible way of living–the path of joy, the path of sanity.

The truly broken feast on truth and have an awareness of their limitations.

Why do I lie? At the level of my soul, it is because I think that something other than God is a quicker way to the happiness I crave. Why do I constantly defend myself and protect my reputation? I do this because I am insecure in my belief that God is for me, and I find a sterling reputation to be an idol I can lean on.

We sin because our longings are so strong that at the operational level–not at the verbal level, where we confess “Jesus is Lord”–we feel that something in addition to Jesus is necessary for our happiness and well-being. We will never find the full freedom promised in the gospel if all we want from Jesus is relief.

These are all quotes from James C. Wilhoit’s book Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered.

Yeah. That’s one book out of the 12 I have to read this semester.

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