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Growing Edge

Downsizing Sin

Dallas Willard believes discipleship is not as hard we make it.

Obeying Jesus requires, it sometimes seems, Aristotelian wisdom and Herculean strength. Other times, it's pretty simple.

I was thoughtlessly helping myself to a second portion of a casserole filled with three of the essential food groups (fat, salt, and cholesterol) when my son spoke up. He'd heard me say how much I wanted to shed 40 pounds and how, again, I was going to start a diet.

"Dad," Luke said, "I don't think you want to do that."

"You're right," I said and put down the spoon. A skirmish with gluttony was simply and quietly defeated—without drama or heroic will power.

In The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering our Hidden Life in God (HarperSanFrancisco, 1998), Dallas Willard argues that the life of discipleship can be as simple as that: understanding what Jesus wants and then simply deciding to do it. If pastors come to grips with this simple truth, they will not only be better disciples themselves, ...

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