I‘m grateful that Jared C. Wilson has written a book for disciples like me. The ones who try, and fail, and strive their hardest to walk ‘in step with the Spirit’, but who are broken, messy, and not there yet. The Imperfect Disciple: Grace For People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together is full of real, relatable wisdom and needs to be read highligher-in-hand. Below are (in no particular order) my favourite quotes from this spiritually formative but earthly little book.
What is discipleship, then…
…but following Jesus not on some religious quest to become bigger, better, or faster but to become more trusting of his mercy toward our total inability to become those things?
It all boils down to this:
we have, fundamentally, a worship problem, and so long as we are occupying our minds with little, worldly things and puny, worldly messages, we will shrink our capacity to behold the eternal glory of Jesus Christ, which is the antidote to all that ails us.
The point of the Christian life is not self-improvement or more Bible knowledge but Christlikeness.
None of us is better than Jesus.
So if Jesus’s intentional prayer involved withdrawal to deserted places, and he did so often, how awesome do we think we are that we don’t have to follow suit?
Oh, and by the way
None of us is ever in danger of praying too much.
To be a Christian is to be a churchman or churchwoman
As I’ve said, the New Testament knows of no vibrant discipleship apart from life in the local church and no authentic Christianity divorced from the covenant of life together according to the biblical structure of the local church.
I just really liked this. Let the reader understand.
I think of the typical Christian Living section in the mainstream bookstore down at the suburban shopping center. Row after row of pseudo-religious gobbledygook promising breakthroughs and victories and super-colossal personal affirmations for abundant living. Jesus is quoted and appropriated in these shiny tomes, their glossy covers invariably featuring successful religious spokespersons grinning big-toothed grins under waves of well-coiffed hair.
“Buy my millstone,” their smiles say. “It’s good for you.”
At its root, impatience is confusion about control. Impatience is the rotten fruit of self-sovereignty. We are impatient because people and circumstances do not tend to operate as if we are the center of the universe.
This is why the good news is so good!
The essential message of Christianity isn’t “do” but “done.” The good news is news, not instruction, and it announces to us not “get to work” but “it is finished.” And so it turns out that the direct route to God-honoring behavior is born not of good behavior but of good beholding.
The church is for people like me
The church has got to be a place where it’s okay to not be okay….
A message of grace will attract people but a culture of grace will keep them.