Review of Joyful Surrender: 7 Disciplines for the Believer’s Life, by Elisabeth Elliot

I remember attending a conference in the early 80s in which Elisabeth Elliot was one of the speakers.  Do I really remember her delivering a condensed version of this book in her talk, some 38 years ago, or do I just want to think I remember?

Regardless, this book has stood the test of time. Joyful Surrender was originally penned in 1982 by Elisabeth Elliot, under the title Discipline: the glad surrender.

The title and the cover have been changed, but I believe just about everything else has been kept as it was. The Scripture versions are all the original ones Elliot used, and some are rarely listed as modern references: The New English Bible, The Jerusalem Bible, and J. B. Phillips translation of the New Testament.

The seven disciplines Elliot examines are of the Body, Mind, Place, Time, Possessions, Work, and Feelings. Elliot speaks some hard truths, calling fat, fat (even gluttony); and lazy, lazy.

She related an incident in which a woman asked her to pray she would get a job. Elliot asked her how long she had been out of work. The woman replied she had been out of work, and on government assistance, for two years. Elliot asked her what type of work she was looking for and the lady wanted a job in the television industry.

Elliot told her she could surely find a job cleaning, and be able to get off of government assistance. But the woman was offended at the suggestion, because she had a Master’s degree, and only wanted to work in that field.

Elliot reminded her of Paul’s words that those who do not work will not eat. Elliot suggested that if she got busy doing the most menial work, God may be inclined to provide a job more in keeping with her education.

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