The Imperfect Disciple has been sitting in my library for some time, and it is the first book I have ever owned (and now read) by Jared Wilson. When I finally got to reading it recently I found myself asking, “why on earth did I wait so long to read this?”
The book is written conversationally, making it highly accessible, and yet there are so many brilliant turns of phrase it feels masterful! This relatively informal style doesn’t distract, it helps you settle in, it connects you to the message – and goodness knows it is a message we all need to hear.
There is at least a little irony in the subtitle ‘Grace for people who can’t get their act together’, because in some sense this applies to all of us on this side of heaven as we are still being sanctified by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Having said that, while it is sure to have broad application, it feels personal and pastoral and I am thankful for the way it reminded me of the need to really ‘behold’ God, not just to get stuck going through the motions and simply ‘behaving’ like a believer; it reminded me of the need to remember that all of our discipline and discipleship is not ultimately about us – it is about following, relating to and loving Jesus who loves us perfectly despite our inability to follow him perfectly. It reminds us that true Christian community is both a blessing and a beacon, salt and light, to a customer-driven, individualised world. It reminds us that God’s grace really is all sufficient, and it reminds us that Jesus is the point of heaven – he’s the goal, he’s the prize.
Though we are imperfect followers, a fact of which I didn’t really need a great deal of reminding, I am thankful for the way in which Jared has so humbly pointed me to the fact that my Saviour, the One I follow, is perfect – and though it seems cliche, the way He sees me is as a dearly loved child of God, not as a damaged (imperfect) disciple.
Read this book, I trust you will benefit from it greatly!