Christmas Traditions

Discipline

If someone was describing you, would they use the word disciplined? What is discipline? The root word is disciple - to be a committed follower of a way, path, or person. What way are you following? Life leadership's foundation is discipline. It is having an understanding of a way or lifestyle one should follow then following that path. It is saying "No" to many things so you can say "Yes" to a few precious, valuable, life sustaining things. The majority of people see discipline as hindering their free expression or the pursuit of freedom. Actually, discipline frees a person to truly seek fulfillment and achieve the goals that have meaning. By disciplining yourself from the unnecessary or the meaningless, you can achieve the meaningful.


A disciplined person doesn't just come home and carelessly watch TV. They are careful in what they put in their mind. A disciplined person knows that if they are not actively working on where they want to go, they will be swept backward by the generalities of life. If you are not pushing forward, the generalities of life, the vices, the meaningless things are pushing you backwards.



Being disciplined takes several steps:

1. It is a conscious choice "I will be different. I will think about how I live my life. I will make conscious choices that have a positive impact on myself and others."

2. Discipline has an end in sight: a goal or an outcome or attitude, a benefit.

3. The realization that your choices affect other people so you make choices and decisions with others in mind.

4. The disciplined person weighs the benefits of their discipline and continually verbally expresses the good results that this discipline brings.

5. A disciplined person makes of choice of "Do it now, vs. that can wait until tomorrow" for tomorrow never comes.

6. A particular discipline practiced becomes a habit freeing you to learn to be disciplined in other areas.

7. The number one underlying principle of all successful people is that they are disciplined in the area of their success.


Where a person struggles in life: work, physical fitness, marriage, finances, etc., the general cause is that they were not or stopped being disciplined in this area. They stopped working for a goal, stopped considering others and only lived for themselves, for the moment at hand, not the future. Live for the future, not just for today.

Faith

The apostle Paul understood discipline. He understood that temptations of the world and how simple distractions could keep him from doing the task that God had called him to do. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 9: 26-27


"Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."


Dr. Robert Schuller states in his book Tough Minded Faith for Tender Hearted People that there is power in discipline.

"The person who disciplines his body practices faith whether it's through controlling appetite for food or drink, or any other natural physical appetite. There are mysterious, intricate, and complex connections of body, brain, and soul. Persons who discipline their eating, drinking and sexual appetites, often experience a mysterious upsurge of creative powers and rebirth of spirituality. In contrast, the undisciplined person who lets himself go and doesn't care about proper exercise, physical fitness or dietary disciplines finds his faith becoming flabby. Undisciplined is another word for disqualified."


If you are struggling in your faith about God, His answering of your prayers, other life problems, I would first examine your discipline in the area of faith and in life. What are you continually putting in your mind? Are you reading God's word on a daily basis? Are you fellowshipping with other believers on a regular basis? Do you attend church on a regular basis? Are you in a relationship that is unwholesome? Are you in a rut but blaming others or God?


So many times, we look to others for an answer to our problems but the answer is really about us. We are the solution, but the solution requires you or me making a change, being disciplined. God gives us the grace and spiritual power to change our lives but He doesnt just zap us; we must exercise discipline in making those changes. So start today!

 

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