As Jerry Bridges talks about Devotion in the first few chapters of the book, he emphasizes the importance of having the proper motivation and how to arrive to that place. Each chapter thereon focuses on godly traits, namely: humility, contentment, thankfulness, joy, holiness, self-Control, faithfulness, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness and love. All these godly traits is not new to any of us. Even non-Christians are familiar with all these. But the lovely thing about this book is how Bridges is able to articulate the practical guidance on how we can develop that. It is downright amazing!
'How can you develop godly character?' is a big question and one that is rigorously and practically analysed in this book. Set out as a workbook with 18 chapters divided into 12 manageable sections for individual or group study, it is a useful and challenging meditation on what it means to establish and grow in Christian character.
One criticism of books like this would usually be that they centre themselves on one area of striving towards â€˜godliness' at the expense of overlooking other areas for consideration. That would be invalid here as not only are eighteen areas outlined, but readers are invited to interact with the materials and with each other through â€˜study questions' summarising the content and prompting learning through personal application. This is a well presented book and I enjoyed the study guide format and the way that the â€˜look' of the pages allowed a very personal interaction with the content.
As a study guide it is excellent, as a book it is well constructed and helpful and as a reading experience it is challenging. The study guide format works well for this title and as a personal observation, I would say that with a skilled study group leader, there would be some very interesting sessions arising out of some of the topics. People and groups that use this curriculum should get a spirited discussion out of sessions such as â€˜self-control â€˜as the themes presented are honest and provocative. I would willingly recommend this to a Book Group or a Christian Study group as the lessons are of wide application.
You will not finish this book without being affected positively and if one powerful lesson to come out of the book is that when God speaks, we should listen - not argue, debate or consider but listen and obey, then that is all for the better. I would recommend strongly.