Getting used to the college life has been a little harder than I anticipated but I think now I’m just starting to get the hang of it – and I guess now is as good a time as any since I have my first mid-term next week! Crazy, right? I feel as though I just got here, but the semester is flying by faster than ever. It’s been hard for me to find time to post as often as I would like to. Trying to balance school work, church ministry, social life, and trying to get enough sleep has proven to be a difficult task, but I am determined to find a way to get it all done.
One class I am taking this semester is called Principles of Christian Living and I was required to read and write a report on the book called none other than The Disciplined Life, written by Richard S. Taylor. I’ve been learning to multi-task so much more than I have before, so while writing a paper for the class, I have also composed a book review for you all to read! You should be very proud of me because I feel pretty accomplished.
The Disciplined Life is a fairly short book containing no more than 130 pages, so no Christian has the excuse that the book is too long to read, or that they do not have the time to read it. A kid in my class read it all through in one afternoon! The main emphasis of the book is that discipline is the “mark of Christian maturity.”
Honestly, what I like so much about this book is that it is direct and to the point. Being from Philadelphia, I grew up around people who were always frank and completely blunt with people. The didn’t “beat around the bush” when they needed to address an issue. I think have become that way, too, and I really appreciated that Taylor’s style of writing was just that. He used plenty of examples and metaphors but not too many details as to distract from the main objective of each section. The book is divided into two parts containing a total of six chapters collectively.
Chapter one talks about the idea that discipline and power go hand in hand. He uses the example that national leadership requires discipline that has had years to develop. He then states that discipline is not only required for one to govern a nation, but also for one to govern his own life.
The next chapter deals with maturity. Taylor references many aspects one’s personal life that need to be matured over time. They include appetites, moods, emotions, speech, priorities, and adjustment to authorities. He goes on to establish the idea that one cannot begin to have order in his life if he does not first desire in his heart to be disciplined.
Chapter three discusses the dangers of discipline. “Undisciplined discipline” is a topic he discusses in this chapter. Although it sounds like an oxymoron, what he means by “undisciplined discipline” is that a person may come to a point in his life where he is so focused on being disciplined and organized that it becomes impractical and unproductive.
The next chapter deals specifically with the Christian and the role that discipline should play in his life. He alludes to the idea that discipline does not take the place of holiness in the Christian’s life. In fact, he states that discipline is what occurs in the Christian’s life as he strives to be more holy and life his life to honor God.
Chapter five addresses the role that rules and regulations play in every Christian young person’s life. He notes that although society pushes for young people to be self-reliant and self-disciplined, they are still obligated to obey the rules that are established and, in turn, those rules will guide him to live a more productive and disciplined life.
The final chapter lists basic principles to establish discipline in one’s life. Although they are fairly general suggestions, they give the reader the opportunity to cater each principal so that it becomes applicable to his own life.
The last chapter is followed by several pages of discussion questions that I believe would be very helpful if someone used the book for a small group or for a discipleship course. This book was well written, easy to understand, and in my opinion, extremely convicting especially at such a crucial time in my own life where I have begun to establish discipline in my life on a whole new level as a new college student.
I would definitely recommend this book to any Christian, newly saved or not. It is helpful even to the most disciplined of adults. Not only is it beneficial to a young person seeking to establish order in his life, but it is a profitable resource for mentors as well.
I would really encourage you to find this book and read it – maybe even more than once! I am so grateful that I was required to read this book, because if I were left to my own devices, I would have had no motivation to read it on my own!
You can purchase a copy of this book here!
Have a great day and I look forward to what I am going to post next!