Spiritual Discipline Essays Examples
In the book, Bonhoeffer: On the Christian Life, author Stephen J. Nichols takes the reader introduces the reader to the ideals and life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man who is reputed to have returned to his native country in the summer of 1939 when Hitler and his Nazi regime were fully on the rise and the danger to anyone expressing a different opinion was tantamount to suicide. The man was a teacher, a youth pastor, and even a spy and co-conspirator in several plots to assassinate Hitler. He was one of those that sought to save Jews from Nazi Germany, and was by and large an altruistic and fearless individual that stood in the face of adversity thanks to his faith and the belief that nothing was ever random or by happenstance. As was coined by Bonhoeffer, “I believe that nothing meaningless has happened to me and also that it is good for us when things run counter to our desires. I see a purpose in my present existence and only hope that I fulfill it.”1
“God can do very extraordinary works through very ordinary people,”2 is how author Steve Miller describes D.L. Moody, another devout and strong spiritual leader that, unlike Bonhoeffer, was not formally trained or educated. D.L. Moody was born to a farming family and had no desire to become an evangelist when he set out on his own at 17, but through many trials and tribulations he came to possess the inner qualities of leadership and unwavering faith that is so essential to the ministry, as well as the humility that is not always as prevalent. Through his own initiative and the understanding of what it takes to lead and aspire to be better, Moody came to realize and understand his own limitations and trust in God to do what was necessary.
Stephen J. Nichols. Bonhoeffer: On the Christian Life. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 1.
Steve Miller. D.L. Moody on Spiritual Leadership. (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2004).
Lastly, John Edwards, another great evangelist, was a man who lived by a set of resolutions that enforced his beliefs that he sought holiness in every aspect of his life. One such resolution states that “Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.”3 This is the work and statement of a man that allows for defeat but is not broken by it, and therefore pushes onward through hardship in order to obtain the ideal which he seeks.
Like the two men mentioned above, Edwards was without a doubt a great and unyielding presence in service to the lord, stout believers and unwavering souls that understand their own limitations and continue to strive forward. This is what I strive to be, and what I aspire towards.
After reading through the writings offered up by these tremendously talented and divinely inspired men there is no doubt that in my life I will do what is necessary to walk the road ahead expecting and accepting whatever challenges may come. There is little if any true glory and learning to be had within the life that offers nothing but easy, prepared answers without any type of struggle. That way lies little more than complacency and an inherent desire for instant gratification. Real living, real learning comes from the sacrifices that are made and the feeling that one has done what they can to make the world better for another.
I wish to make this world a better place for those I care about and for my own peace of mind. Through guidance that He has laid down throughout generations I have seen that true self-sacrifice does not involve the mere act of giving, but of understanding ones limitations and giving despite those. This is a lesson I will hold dear throughout my life, and one that I will gladly relay to others.
“Session 9-Spiritual Disciplines,” Bible.org, 6 Feb. 2015, https://bible.org/seriespage/session-9-spiritual-disciplines
Miller, Steve. D.L. Moody on Spiritual Leadership. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2004.
Nichols, Stephen J. Bonhoeffer: On the Christian Life. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013
“Session 9-Spiritual Disciplines,” Bible.org, 6 Feb. 2015,