Our small group worked through Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth the first few months of 2012. In an effort to put spiritual disciplines into practice, our group spent a week on each chapter trying out the Inward Disciplines: Meditation, Prayer, Fasting, and Study, and the Outward Disciplines: Simplicity, Solitude, Submission, and Service. The third section, the Corporate Disciplines: Confession, Worship, Guidance, and Celebration, we didn’t practice as a group but read through nonetheless.
As Foster repeats over and over throughout the book, spiritual disciplines are not meant to enslave us to rigid guidelines but rather are meant to set us free in all of the ways that we are to be free in Christ (if Christ has set you free, then you are free indeed!). This freedom is important to remember throughout each chapter and throughout the practice of each discipline; otherwise, we start practicing each discipline for the discipline’s sake rather than growing closer to God through the disciplines, which is the true goal.
There are far too many gold nuggets worth quoting to list them all here. I appreciated each chapter immensely, felt challenged and encouraged each reading. This is a book worth reading and returning to.