This book was recommended to me by a dear friend and student of the author years ago. I am just now finishing it. The length of time that it took me to read it does not reflect an inaccessible writing style, insurmountable length, or any fault of the author. It took me this long to finish because of the level of conviction the book brought about in my life. Often I felt so convicted either at my need for growth or at my lack of desire to grow in the spheres of spiritual discipline that Whitney lays out that I let the book lie on my desk unopened for weeks and sometimes months at a time. Yet there it would lie, a silent reminder to me that godliness isn’t the natural direction towards which my heart and life freely drift.
And so little by little, word by word, I have plodded through this significant and profitable book.
Using I Timothy 4:7 “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” as the jumping off point for the book, Donald Whitney, explores 11 areas of Gospel-centered spiritual discipline that the follower of Christ should be seeking to intentionally grow in:
– Bible Intake
– Silence and Solitude
Whitney does a great job of maintaining a balance between emphasizing the work that the Lord does in the believer with the work that the believer does in light of what the Lord has and is working in them. He grounds his writing in the Word and offers many practical helps to spur on faithfulness. Nowhere does it feel like Whitney is endorsing a law or works.
Even though I have finally finished reading this, I think it will probably remain on my desk as a resource and reminder to remain diligent in the pursuit of Christlikeness.