The Thin Line of Discipline

One thing this person isn’t disciplined about? Wearing weather appropriate clothing. You’re in the desert bro.

There comes a time in a persons life that the concept of discipline becomes a strange enigma of pros and cons. While discipline is always something to strive for,  it often proves to be too difficult because people can’t handle having to give up certain things they love or breaking out of routines that have been habit for years. The term discipline is one of those words in our modern society that seems to be spoken in the same terms as “mailing that letter to an old friend”, or “I’m going to call my parents and tell them I love them”: while lofty and good, it’s something that people tend to look at from a distance, because deep down they know discipline means sacrifice, and we aren’t terribly good at sacrificing.

The problem with discipline is that it often gets too quickly bunched into the niche as legalism. Discipline is not legalism. Discipline is taking the steps necessary to further develop and grow deeper in your walk with Christ, and legalism is nothing but shows for other people and yourself. Discipline is subtle and kept close to the chest. Discipline is personal. Legalism is in your face. Legalism is trying to prove to others your spirituality and belief, when in reality it just makes you look haughty and snobbish. Discipline starts with a personal conviction, a mental decision, and then a showing of obedience from the heart. Legalism starts with the head, exits the mouth, and is dictated by the eyes of others. We need to get away from showy legalism and get back to being disciplined in our pursuit of Christ and his will.
So do what you need to do to get serious about your walk. If you need to wake up at 6 to read the Word without distraction, do it. If you need to get a friend to keep you aware of what you say to people, ask them. Discipline helps us not only protect ourselves and grow in Christ and in social standing, but it also helps protect others. Imagine how much better this world would be if people were more disciplined about their convictions. How many marriages would be saved from infidelity? How many families would benefit from disciplined money management? How many relationships would be saved from harsh words and personal failures? How many Christians would genuinely show the world a true picture of Christ? The social/economic/political fruit of disciplined living would change not only this country, but the world. Let us get our priorities in order, and let us pray for the Holy Spirit to help us have the discipline to keep them.

1 Comment

  1. Zac Reno says:

    Great word brother. God is using you and your words. Legalism is based on perception and or the fear of penalty. Discipline is based on passion and deep rooted desire.

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