When Life’s Not Working by Bob Merritt

Discipline. We love the word, and hate the act of it. Discipline is generally full of negative connotation and looked upon disdain. We love reading about people with unusual amounts of discipline who are able to achieve extraordinary feats, but when it comes to applying the same discipline, we usually fail every time.

Why? Because the gate is narrow.

Pastor Bob Merritt examines and explains seven disciplines to move from failure to fulfillment in his first book When Life’s Not Working. By reading this book, you’ll learn how to “be among the few who get on the narrow road.”

In many ways, this is a book everyone — especially those within the 12 to 30s range — needs to read. We all desperately want to dream big, to find our unique calling, to become all that God made us to be, but frankly, we aren’t willing to put simple disciplines into place to achieve. We want to move from A to B without putting in the hard work — the discipline — required to get there. Our generation (Gen X, Millenials) is told we can be all we want to be, but yet we aren’t taught the discipline to achieve God’s dreams for our lives.

“He’s given us a set of universal disciplines that are the building blocks to making life work and achieving the best possible outcomes. A discipline can be learned, but it must be practiced, and it becomes an actual life discipline only when it becomes your natural, automatic response to any and all situations.”

I love how he clearly and simply outlines the disciplines required to become a man or woman of God. And through laying out these seven disciplines — including “give it one more day,” “manage your loads,” and “find your rhythm” — he is honest about his own shortcomings and learnings.

Laced throughout the book is his focus on relationships. No matter how disciplined a person is, it doesn’t matter if we aren’t cultivating, nurturing, and strengthening the relationships in our lives. We can be the most disciplined person in the world, but without relationships with friends and family, life would be meaningless. Furthermore, he clearly articulates these truths in line with scripture and what God wants to do in our lives through these disciplines.

Finally, on a personal note, I have the opportunity to work under the leadership of Bob at Eagle Brook Church. He lives what he writes. He is as disciplined a man as I’ve ever been around. He is humble, authentic, disciplined, and an incredible man of God.

I strongly suggest reading this book and learning about discipline from a man who has walked the talk.


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