045 – Journaling – Spiritual Disciplines Series


Listen to the Audio

Podcast: Play in browser | Download

Subscribe on iTunes

“The Christian life is, by definition, a living thing. If we can think of the Discipline of Bible intake as its food and prayer as its breath, many Christians have made journaling its heart. For them is pumps life-maintaining blood into every Discipline connected with it.” -Donald Whitney

Journaling - Spiritual Disciplines Series

“Although the practice of journaling is not commanded in Scripture, it is modeled. And God has blessed the use of journals since Bible times.” -Donald Whitney

In today’s podcast episode I will continue the book review series of Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney. As a result of overwhelming response to my 2014 reader survey, I want to focus on the challenges of personal spiritual growth. Literally, 100% of those that participated in my readers survey selected personal spiritual growth as a challenge in their life. With that, I’m diving into a very influential book that offers practical application.

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life by Donald Whitney has been powerfully impactful on my personal spiritual growth. I’m convinced it will help you as well. I encourage you to get a copy, read it, and begin to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7).

Book Notes:

  • “Although the practice of journaling is not commanded in Scripture, it is modeled. And God has blessed the use of journals since Bible times.”
  • Explanation of Journaling
    • “A journal (a word usually synonymous with diary) is a book in which a person writes down various things. As a Christian, your journal is a place to record the works and ways of God in your life.”
  • Value of Journaling
    • Help in Self-Understanding and Evaluation
      • “The simple discipline of recording the events of the day and noting my reactions to them causes me to examine myself much more thoroughly than I would otherwise.”
      • “A journal can be the means by which the Holy Spirit shows us areas of sin or weakness, the emptiness of a path we have chosen, insight into our motives, or other things than can transform the journal page into an alter of seeking God.”
      • “The journal can be a mirror in the hands of the Holy Spirit in which He reveals His perspective on our attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions. Since we will be held accountable for each of these at the Judgment, evaluating them by any means is wisdom.”
    • Help in Meditation
      • “The discipline of writing down my meditations in my journal helps me concentrate.”
      • “Sitting with pen and paper also heightens my expectations of hearing from God as I think on Him and His words in the passage before me.”
    • Help in Expressing Thoughts and Feelings to the Lord
      • “A journal is a place where we can give expression to the fountain of our heart, where we can unreservedly pour out our passion before the Lord.”
      • “By slowing us down and prompting us to think more deeply about God, journaling helps us feel more deeply (and biblically) about God.”
    • Help in Remembering the Lord’s Works
      • “We tend to forget just how many times God has answered specific prayers, made timely provision, and done marvelous things in our lives. But having a place to collect all these memories prevents their being forgotten.”
      • “Francis Bacon put it bluntly, ‘If a man write little, he had need have a great memory.’”
      • “One of the greatest benefits of keeping a record of the work of the Lord is the encouragement it can be to faith and prayer.”
    • Help in Creating and Preserving a Spiritual Heritage
      • “Journaling is an effective way of teaching the things of God to our children and transmitting our faith into the future.”
      • “Never underestimate the power of a written record of faith acting as a spiritual time capsule. The writer of Psalm 102:18 recognized it when he said of his experience with God: ‘Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the Lord.’”
    • Help in Clarifying and Articulating Insights and Impressions
      • “An old adage says thoughts disentangle themselves when passed through the lips and across fingertips.”
      • “I’ve discovered that if I write down the meditations of my quiet time with the Lord, those impressions stay with me much longer. Without journaling, by day’s end I usually can remember little from my devotional time.”
      • “When insights from my quiet time are clearly fixed in my mind through journaling, I’ve also found them ready to use later in conversation, counseling, encouraging, and witnessing.”
    • Help in Monitoring Goals and Priorities
      • “A journal is a good way to keep before us the things we want to do and emphasize.”
      • “How did men like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield become so unusually conformed to the image of Christ? Part of their secret was their use of the Spiritual Discipline of journaling to maintain self-accountability for their spiritual goals and priorities.”
    • Help in Maintaining the Other Spiritual Disciplines
      • “My journal is the place where I record my progress with all the Spiritual Disciplines.”
      • “Once I return to the habit of not memorizing Scripture, momentum keeps me there. However, when I have a daily prompter such as my journal, where I find a reminder to ‘discipline myself for the purpose of godliness,’ I can more easily reverse the momentum.”
      • “The Christian life is, by definition, a living thing. If we can think of the Discipline of Bible intake as its food and prayer as its breath, many Christians have made journaling its heart. For them is pumps life-maintaining blood into every Discipline connected with it.”
  • Ways of Journaling
    • “How is it done? Your way of keeping a journal is the right way. There are no rules for keeping a journal.”
    • “Don’t thing that ‘official journaling’ (there is no such thing) means you have to write a certain number of lines every day, or even that you have to write every day. I try to write in my journal daily, but if I don’t, I refuse to feel guilty about it. Whenever I seem to be content with needlessly long lapses in making entries, I discipline myself to write at least one sentence per day. Inevitably, that one sentence turns willingly into a paragraph or a page.”
  • More Application
    • “As with all the Disciplines, journaling can be fruitful at any level of involvement with it.”
    • “As with all the Disciplines, journaling requires persistence through the dry times.”
    • “As with all the Disciplines, you must start journaling before you can experience its value.”

Links to resources mentioned in today’s podcasts:

Disciplines

Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.