Life is full of the need for discipline and the focus it creates in our lives. Often we “beat ourselves” up over our failure to remain focused and follow through on our New Year resolutions. Without discipline we can easily begin to flounder in our resolve and consequently our ability to reach goals, lead a healthy lifestyle, grow spiritually and ultimately be happy.
But being disciplined is a habit we can practice for a better life and it’s what many successful people attribute their success and happiness to.
There are great benefits to leading a disciplined life. Its one of the easiest ways to gain respect in the workplace and sets a positive example to others. It creates focus, reliability, patience and consistency in our characters; helps us be healthy, assists our educational pursuits and encourages us to be self controlled, resulting in positive relations with others. When we practice being disciplined we get things done faster and in the right time period. We are usually less stressed because we’re more organised and know what we are doing and are able to plan in advance.
God speaks in His word a lot about discipline. He knows that it need not be a negative, controlling or limiting aspect of our lives but a part of our character that will help us become all that He created us to be. A disciplined life helps prevent us from stumbling and enables us to be consistent in our speech, behaviour and faith. It enables us to remain steadfast in adversity and patient as we believe and pray.
God encourages us to be, “hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined,” and cautions that “a man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Titus 1:8; Proverbs 25:28)
I can think of many times when I have let myself and others down from not being as disciplined as I could have been. But God is so gracious and encourages us in our weaknesses to forgive ourselves, ask for His strength and choose to move forward. When we draw close to God we discover more of who we are in Him. As we look at Him and His word, we will see ourselves as He sees us; as new creations who are disciplined, gentle, self-controlled people who run our race well.
“Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
It’s in the daily routine; in the decisions and habits we create and establish in our lives that discipline grows. It’s not burdensome, but about living a freer life where we are no longer governed by our emotions, weaknesses or bad habits.
Today start with a small area of your life that you desire to be more disciplined in; make simple changes first and write down your plan to move forward so that they are clear to you. Ask God for His strength and help and then go for it, one step and day at a time.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air, but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you have created me in your image and likeness. I have resurrection power residing on the inside of me and the ability and strength to do all things. Help me to understand more fully who I am in you. I am disciplined, focused and healthy. In Jesus name Amen.