Habits of Grace

Habits of Grace

In Habits of Grace, David Mathis provides a fresh and welcomed take on the spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. Drawing from authors like Foster, Whitney, and Willard, Mathis has supplied us with a unique contribution by the way he structures the individual spiritual disciplines within three key principles: God’s voice, God’s ear, and God’s people. Mathis has a particular desire to restore fellowship (God’s people) as a keystone habit of grace rather than merely giving it a nod or mention as he contests other authors do. While you would expect a book on spiritual disciplines to include things like Scripture, prayer, silence and solitude (which this book does include), Mathis devotes a third of the book to disciplines that are uniquely designed to be fleshed out within the context of Christian fellowship and community. In a hyper-individualistic culture, these particular habits of grace are needed now more than ever if the Church is going to lock arms for faithful missional engagement in the world. Whether you are a seasoned leader in Christian ministry, or whether you are brand new to faith in Jesus, Habits of Grace will both encourage and challenge you. It should be on your bookshelf. 

A few of my highlighted quotes:

On Prayer: “This is the heart of prayer–not getting things from God, but getting God.” p. 101

On Praying in Company: “It’s almost too good to be true–almost–that in Jesus we have the very ear of God…a shared joy is a doubled joy.”  p. 112

On Corporate Worship: “Martin Luther: ‘At home, in my house, there is no warmth or vigor in me, but in the church when the multitude is gathered together, a fire is kindled in my heart and it breaks its way through.’” p. 157

On Journaling: “When you open your journal harrowed, try to follow the path of the psalmists and close with hope. Make 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 come to life as you fill the white space with words. When you feel afflicted, rejoice that you’re not crushed; when perplexed, drive away despair; when persecuted, remember you’re not forsaken; when struck down, know you will not be destroyed.”