When you hear a word like Discipline I think we immediately begin to resist and conjure up images of doing thankless tasks without reward or joy. And this is where Donald Whitney’s book shines so clearly. He has taken the title and thrust of his book from I Timothy 4:7 where Paul writes “Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness.” (NASB) Dr. Whitney holds out for us the outcome and that is Godliness, Christ-likeness. We are often willing to go through some absurd hardships for things that bring us joy. Men practice for hours learning how to swing a golf club because they enjoy the outcome of being good at golf. In this book we are shown some of the avenues available to us to grow into godliness where true and lasting joy are available.
The Disciplines that are discussed are as follows; Bible Intake, Prayer, Worship, Evangelism, Serving, Stewardship, Fasting, Silence and Solitude, Journaling, and Learning. Some of the Disciplines discussed at the beginning of the book are the more traditional and familiar, and he does an excellent job showing us how we can pursue godliness through these practices. As the chapters go on we get into more unfamiliar territory and I think that this is a real benefit for us. We are exposed to new Disciplines that can aid our pursuit of conformity to the image of Christ.
I will not belabor this post but I want to recommend this book very highly. This would make a great book for your summer reading. Helping you to get refocused on our calling to grow into the image of Christ.