Discipline…..

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of the year a recently-acquired friend of mine asked me what I wanted to achieve this year. I had a whole list. I’ve had a whole list for some time now only that I hadn’t written it down. When you write things down you have to face them, you have to commit. When you let people know, you have to do something about it because, in time, they will ask how far you’ve gone; and then what will you have to say?

So after my whole list, I asked the same question, and the main answer was discipline.

I felt like maybe this was God’s way of telling me something. I’ve had the same word in my vocabulary for the better part of

the past few months. Discipline. Discipline about work, family, school, relationships, church, Christian principles, thought processes, reading, commitments, EVERYTHING. And if I’m being honest I’ve been running from it. It takes time; it takes commitment. Though I have the former, I’ve been avoiding the latter. I have a million (well not literally a million) excuses and reasons for why I’ve been avoiding the latter but I know they are just that: Excuses.

Have I finally let go of the excuses and acquired discipline? I cannot give a definitive answer. All I know is that, writing it out is a step. I may not be doing flying kicks kicking procrastination out of my life or doing Karate chops to break down all the avoidance of integral issues but I hear that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step; and I guess this is a step. Plus, to paraphrase, Charles Spurgeon once said that if are a preacher/ teacher (let’s just say if you have any platform in this day and age) and find that whatever you speak does not speak to (work on, admonish, encourage, call out, resonate with) the core of your heart as well, then there’s everything wrong with that.

To be a disciple I have to have discipline. Both words come from the same root in Latin – discipulus. Discipleship is rooted in learning, practice and exercise. Discipline is grown in practice and exercise. If I am, for instance, to manifest the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22, I must live it, be intentional, practice, apply, repeat. So essentially if I cannot be disciplined I cannot be an effective disciple of Christ. I cannot be Christ-like if I do not have discipline. The best I can do is to imitate some things sometimes then revert to whatever it is that comes more naturally. That, is religious at best and hypocrisy at worst.

That’s a sobering realization about what is my foundation, that is, salvation and Christianity. Discipline is key in it, and I cannot be disciplined in this one area but lacking in every other. How then is my life bringing glory and honor to God? Doesn’t that mean that my life is then compartmentalized? I know for sure that “Well done good and faithful servant” is not based on snippets of life but the entirety of it. And in that same spirit of Matthew 25, the servant is entrusted with more because of their faithfulness in the little. But I cannot be faithful in the little if I am not fully committed (read disciplined) to do that which is entrusted unto me. Plus I can’t be shocked when I’m not prepared to work for that discipline but somehow expect my walk with Christ to be superb. the same then  trickles down to every other thing: work, relationships, career, school, responsibilities, etc.

There’s no grand finale to this piece. No poetry. No links. No songs. No videos. Just a call to get up, and make that first step. Then the next. And the next. Until we’re miles ahead and leaving in faithfulness. Until we can look back and tell of God’s grace that is sufficient in the big and the small; in our willingness and in our hard-headedness; in our zeal and even when we felt like we didn’t want to even though we had to.

2nd Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Grace and peace!

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