These days I am seeking to balance my reading from evangelism on the one hand to discipleship on the other.
For instance, I will read a book on how to connect someone to Jesus and then I will read a book on how to teach them to live like a follower of Jesus.
Most recently I read Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary by Lee Strobel, a book that discusses how our unchurched, unbelieving friends view the church and our faith and then shares how to effectively connect them to Jesus.
Now I am reading The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’s essential teachings on discipleship by Dallas Willard. This is really a great book in which Willard puts the process of discipleship in “doable” terms.
This morning Dr. Willard was talking about the role of silence and solitude in the process of becoming more like Jesus. He said,
“Of course there is a time to talk, as there is a time to be with others. But we are not safe and rich in talk and companionship unless our souls are strong in solitude and silence. If we have heard the good news and have come to trust our Savior, he will meet with us through extensive solitude and silence to stabilize his love, joy, and peace in us. His character will become increasingly ours – easily, thoroughly.”
And then he says this…
“You rarely find any person who has made great progress in the spiritual life who did not at some point have much time in solitude and silence.”
Man, is he ever right!
I find that the busier I am, the more I talk and the less like Jesus I become!
I am at my spiritual best when I rise early and spend quiet time with my mentors (books) and my personal life-coach (Jesus)… who happens to be the Son of God!
How about you? When was the last time you were alone and quiet for the purpose of growth?