The Hidden Discipline of John Stott

Nov 2, 2020 by

by Mark Meynell, The Gospel Coalition:

I have a love/hate relationship with duty and discipline.

It may be a generational problem. After all, such a statement would’ve been incomprehensible for the so-called Greatest Generation; people just did what they had to do, however nervous or reluctant they might’ve felt. For me, it’s also a personality and temperament issue. Duty often seems arid and soulless; spontaneity is far more appealing. Despite my inclinations toward introversion and solitude, I struggle to focus on the tasks in hand.

Duty can, of course, be as arid as its reputation suggests. Hollow religiosity is a genuine risk for those committing to spiritual disciplines. Yet this is a poor reason for avoiding healthy habits. Disciplines and duty do have their place, especially for individualist Gen-Xers and millennials. This was forcibly brought home to me as I was granted the privilege (by his literary executors) of working on John Stott’s mammoth collection of index notecards soon after he died in 2011.

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