Spiritual Disciplines: The Backbone of Freedom

The spiritual disciplines are not magic. They are certainly no guarantee of life unsullied by suffering, error, or outright failure. This I know from experience. Neither are the disciplines a strategy to obtain brownie points from a stern God whose only joy is to suck the life out of everything that is fun to do. I suspect that the spiritual disciplines, in themselves, have little value. But they are, I think, related to Paul’s confidence that, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). And though we don’t normally assume a corollary between discipline and freedom, I hope to make the case that the two could hardly be more closely related. And to better understand my meaning, we only have to take this out of the realm of the spiritual and look for a similitude in the physical.

Red Brothers, Red Sisters — Mosaic Magazine

I was eight or nine years old the day I just came out and asked my dad if there was something wrong with Indians. He stopped what he was doing, looked at me for a few seconds and said, “Now why on earth would you ask that question?” I explained to Dad that I noticed there were a disproportionate amount of First Nations men on the inside of prison than on the outside and wondered why that would be. My dad just looked at me and eventually responded with, “You need to be asking questions like that for the rest of your life.”

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