June 08, 2009

Coronary Christians

William Wilberforce

“I daily become more sensible that my work must be affected by constant and regular exertions rather than by sudden and violent ones.”

I have just begun reading the third book in John Piper’s The Swans Are Not Silent series. The title of this book is The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverence in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce. Last night I read the introduction and will begin the actual book tonight. But something in the introduction struck me as an area in my life that needs work.

Piper described two different types of Christians: Adrenal Christians and Coronary Christians. He explained that Adrenal Christians throw themselves into their committed Christian service in short and energetic spurts, like the spurt of adrenaline when we are frightened or otherwise motivated to quick action. Contrasting this is the “Coronary Christians,” which Piper defines as being similar to the heart muscle, which just keeps on doing its job day-in and day-out. It doesn’t speed up a whole lot and it doesn’t slow down a whole lot at any given time. It just keeps on going with steady progress.

I understand the analogy and I am convicted by it. I want to be a coronary Christian, but I fear I have been an adrenal Christian. Lots of work to do.


  1. I don't know how I missed this post, but wow, what an encouragement. I get challenged regularly to be this way by the four kids God blessed me with. They crave the "daily-ness" of a parents Christian walk. They watch EVERYTHING and evaluate it based on what I'm teaching them, and they're quick to raise questions about inconsistencies in my walk. But somehow, even with that challenge, there are still days when I'm just waiting for the next wind to fill up my sails. I think I miss out on a lot of "friend" time with God.

  2. It sure is tough living out a life worthy of emulation in front of your children. Our son calls me on issues regularly.

    I think another of my problems is that I allow myself to become too busy. I think it's much the same as what you said about missing out on a lot of "friend" time with God.

    I'm looking forward to this book. Didn't get to read last night because of a good example of one of those "too busy" moments. My nephew and his new bride visited and our son went beserck with excitement and didn't sleep all night.


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