Grace, not guilt, is what should drive us to spiritual disciplines. You see, when it comes to spiritual disciplines, it is easy to slip into guilt mode. We mistakenly let a low-grade guilt drive us to practice spiritual disciplines and think that if we just do enough disciplines or do them in the right way, we can ease our guilt. However, guilt results in legalism in some, burnout in many, and some of those in turn slip into antinomianism (or license). Thus, in the long run, guilt doesn’t work.
Yet the amazing news is that because of Jesus we are guilt-free in God’s sight, and this is pure grace. We don’t earn it and never can. This grace, in turn, generates incredible joy and gratitude. Grace fuels us to live the abundant life our Lord died to give us through, among other things, the practice of spiritual disciplines, which we discover are themselves a grace. That’s right, spiritual disciplines are a grace because they help us connect to our Lord and live the lives He has for us. The Apostle Paul gets at all this in 1 Corinthians 15:10. I pray Paul’s inspired words are how we will approach spiritual disciplines—with grace, not guilt.