reading lately

"[Sloth] is a sluggishness of soul or boredom of the exertion necessary for the performance of any good work... Sloth can also mean a repugnance to divine inspirations or the friendship of God due to the self-sacrifice and labor needed to cooperate with actual grace or to remain in the state of grace."
-John Harden as quoted in A Mother's Rule of Life

"I had to wonder if my inability to find adequate prayer time wasn't more a result of sloth than of being too busy. It seemed I aways had enough time to read a book or magazine or watch a show, but prayer was somehow impossible."
-Holly Pierlot, A Mother's Rule of life pg. 173

"You like to be free. To be free means not to be regulated. You may not like to be regulated by anybody. But when you are not regulated, you are through with the growth...this growth by regulation has a goal, and this goal is maturity and function...We are cooperating with our God that He may give you more growth, that He may give you the maturity you need, then you will be useful..." -Witness Lee

I've noticed a sort of theme running through my reading lately. Can I say, "ouch"?...

I am kind of a "free-spirit" type person, and I have a hard time staying on task. The word "diligence" has also popped up quite a bit in my reading lately. I have a hard time with regulation.

"Everyone who has reached maturity is a very diligent one. You need to fellowship with the Lord, pray to Him, receive His enlightenment, and be dealt with by Him. A slothful person would never contact the Lord regularly..." -Witness Lee

We are told in the word that we need to become mature in Christ, that we are in a state of becoming, that we are to reflect Christ, and to shine as lights (Phillippians 2:15) in this world. I think upon reflection, we can all agree that simply growing older and gaining gray hair does not automatically equal maturity in Christ. Being saved X many years does not automatically equal maturity. As much as I do not naturally like regulation and discipline, I have to acknowledge the truth and wisdom I am finding lately in my reading.

Ponder this; to grow up to live a 'go with the wind' lifestyle does not take any special training or regulation or discipline...but to grow up, say to be a future King or Queen or President of a Nation- if parents knew a son was destined to rule a nation- they would take great care in outlining a scope of training and preparation for such a weighty calling. Training in manners, care and deportment of self in public, character, public speaking...mastery of politics, history, world events...All these things would ensure the son grows up having a full array of skills to qualify him to carry out his job. In contrast, to grow up to wander the roads, working time to time in small towns- living a vagabond life...would take no training.

growing to be lights in a dark world, growing to be conformed to the image of the Son, growing to be useful in the Father's hand-it must involve some kind of discipline, training, conformity...

"Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind." -Philippians 3:13-16

reaching forward- not the picture of sloth, actually Paul seems to be painting the image of an athlete, again the opposite of slothfulness. I see the word mature in there, too.

I find staring at me lately, an exhortation to walk in newness of life, to shake off that sluggishness of soul and to meet with the Father out of obedience and love.