Practical Disciplines of a Christian Life
Published by: Ambassador International
Release Date: January 19, 2017
Buy the Book: Amazon
For every Christian believer who has struggled with unbelief, trusting God, being a servant, or any other Christian discipline there is hope. Author, Sharon Bahrych shares multiple stories of present day believers as well as past believers who have struggled with the individual disciplines discussed in the various chapters. In each chapter she writes of one discipline needed for a successful life in Christ. In all, she has 19 chapters which cover all of the disciplines within the life of a believer.
The last chapter summarizes all of the disciplines and encourages the reader to persis and continue on. Each topical chapter delineates out individual believers who really struggled with the chapter discipline being discussed. For instance, in the chapter on forgiveness, the author writes the biographical sketch of John Ramsey and how long it took him to grieve and then forgive his daughter’s still unknown assailant.
This book is geared toward women which talks about how to apply various Christian principles in your own life. The author uses the stories of faithful women (and men) – some historical figures, some everyday people – to illustrate her points. Topics in the book include trusting, obeying, praying, witnessing, forgiving, embracing joy, embodying generosity, and becoming holy. The book is very educational in that the reader can learn a lot about historical figures – but the content is also uplifting as it encourages the reader in her daily walk with Christ.
As a fellow believer, Sharon has struggled with the various disciplines inherent within the Christian life. None of them came easy for her, she was mentored by an older woman for many years and then through her reading Christian biographies and praying with an occasional friend, as well as spending time in the local community Navigator ministry, she learned the disciplines required of her walk with Christ. Sharon neither grew up in a Christian home, nor attended church services when she was younger.
She was once told by a friend in the community Navigator ministry that “they didn’t know where to begin helping her so they left her alone.” For the majority of her Christian life, Sharon has had to find her own way in how to apply and then use the Christian disciplines in her own life. Hence she spent a lot of time reading about other believers and their lives and used these examples as her guidebook in applying the disciplines.
Excerpt (from the chapter on forgiveness)
There are numerous examples of forgiveness throughout history. During World War II, Corrie Ten Boom with her family, lived in the Netherlands. They were involved in hiding people of Jewish heritage, so as to keep them from being sent to the concentration camps, which they knew were death camps.
Corrie and her sister, Betsie were eventually arrested and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp, located in northern Germany. After spending months upon months in this camp, through a clerical error, Corrie was released. A week later, everyone her age was sent to the gas chambers and killed.
After the war was over, Corrie found out that her whole family had been killed in the concentration camps and she was the sole survivor. As she was traveling around Europe, doing her speaking engagements a former S. S. Guard came up to her. She immediately recognized him as being one of the guards at Ravensbruck. She knew she had to forgive him. She struggled over needing to do this, but within minutes she reached out her hand to the former guard and offered him forgiveness.
Move forward to 2006, in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. There, Charles Roberts drove up to the local one room schoolhouse, locked the school doors, then proceeded to tie the children up. He eventually killed five of them before taking his own life, as police outside tried to negotiate with him. What was the response of the Amish community to this? Almost instant and total forgiveness, as they attended Charles’ funeral,as well as reached out to his widow giving her emotional and financial support. This is forgiveness!
Unlike what most people would do in a similar situation, the Amish did not get caught up in the unjustness of the situation, or why did it happen, or why them? They didn’t get caught up in rage or wanting revenge, they just immediately forgave the murderer and then went about the needed healing in their community.
Why were the Amish able to do this, when we are not? Their ability comes from their unfailing belief in the sovereignty of God. They firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, that God is in total control and they can trust Him who is their Creator.