In turning his attention to the spiritual disciplines of engagement (study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, and submission), Dallas Willard writes,
“The disciplines of abstinence must be counterbalanced and supplemented by the disciplines of engagement. Abstinence and engagement are the outbreathing and inbreathing of our spiritual lives, and we require disciplines for both movements. Roughly speaking, the disciplines of abstinence counteract the sins of commission and the disciplines of engagement counteract tendencies to sins of omission. Life … does not derive its power of growth and development from withdrawal but from action – and engagement. Abstinence, then, makes way for engagement…. If the places in our souls that are be indwelt by God and his service are occupied by food, sex, and society, we die and languish for lack of God and right relation to his creatures. A proper abstinence actually breaks the hold of improper engagements so that the soul can be properly engaged in and by God.”
from The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, pp 175 – 176.