The Problem of Discipline
Why is it so hard to do what is best for us?
In many ways, we are supposed to be disciplined people, but how often do we truly live disciplined lives? Let’s look at some simple disciplines:
Don’t watch too much TV
Don’t overeat (or eat too much bad food)
Do the dishes (this is more of a discipline for some people)
Dust the house!
Read the Bible
Seek after God
So many things get in our way from practicing important disciplines for our lives. Why don’t I exercise? I’m too tired. Why don’t I read my Bible? I’m too busy. It seems simple enough, we don’t do the things we should do because we’re too caught up in the things that we “want” to do that we thing we “have” to do, or because we just find a “good” excuse not to. For the past few months, I’ve been teaching a class on spiritual disciplines at church, and I’ve discovered that first, they’re not as hard to integrate into my life as I would have thought, and second, it’s actually much better for me to live a life of discipline.
How about exercise? Yeah, I’ve been doing that lately too. It’s super hard work, and it makes you tired, but the interesting thing is, the more you exercise, the less tired you actually are. Your body gets used to the activity and you end up having even more energy for the rest of the day (assuming you’re getting enough sleep at night).
Then, there’s the most important discipline of seeking after God. The most common response I hear from people who don’t regularly spend time with God is “I’m just too busy.” Busy with what? Here’s what I’ve found. I certainly spend way too much time doing things that I really don’t need to be doing. Not that those things are inherently bad, they just take away time I could be doing more important things. Also, I’ve discovered that when I set aside time for God it effects the rest of my life. My heart and mind are more full of God’s Word, effecting my attitude, thoughts, speech, and relationships.
Living a life of discipline can really change us. Getting up even when it’s nice and warm under the covers and exercising can dramatically effect us physically and spending quality time with God can really change us from the inside out. Another great thing about being disciplined is that the more we do it, the easier it is to keep going. The more we exercise, the less difficult it becomes, and the stronger we become. The more we seek after God, the more we want to seek after God and the more He forms us more into the image of His Son.
So, join me! Let’s all work on living disciplined lives together!