The ugly word…Discipline.

“Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness.”
1 Timothy 4:7

Wait, what?

By nature, I’m a fly-by-the-seat kinda girl, lose my keys, cut my own hair, showing up late for everything.  Forget making the bed, I got a life to live! I recall a time when I was driving my grandma’s Oldsmobile down a major highway and the car just shut off. Oops! Guess someone forgot to fill up the gas tank.  A couple of pushes and a few high fives later, I was back in business.

It was funny then but a lifestyle of living for myself is really just that.. Selfish. How many people have I effected?!

As Christians, we can put a lot of our weight on grace. Yes, it’s His grace that covers us and I am still wrapping my mind around that love story.  But I’m ready to go a bit farther now. Jesus lived a disciplined life so as a follower of Christ, He beacons me to do likewise.

I’ve been chewing on a chapter  from KP Yohannan’s book entitled, “Against the Wind.” He wrote,

“if you label yourself as a follower of  Christ, you have a higher calling. You are not a civilian, not free, but under His command and your life has been given to Him.”

Self control just so happens to be a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and Paul said to the church of Corinth “you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (And what a high price was paid for our freedom!)  And again Romans 15:3 states that even Christ did not please Himself. Wow, have I got a looong way to go!

Paul said in Corinthians, “Everything is permissable but not everything is beneficial.”  So yes, grace covers my sleeping-in or unhealthy eating but we always reap what we sow.  Always. What are we aiming for in life? As the saying from Zig Ziglar goes, “those who aim at nothing, will hit it every time.”

KP layed out this challenge:

Others waste time? – YOU study and read
Others sleep? – YOU get up and pray
Others take it easy? – YOU work hard
Others lose their tempers? – YOU guard your mouth

“The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Do what you don’t feel like doing.  Here are some examples:

-Schedule in time to fast/pray for others. People matter to God.
-Exercise, take care of your health.
-Meet deadlines, Be punctual
-Plan for tomorrow, next week, next year
-List books to read
-Keep a good record of spending and eliminate  the unnecessary.
-Maintain healthy relationships, If a conflict arises, settle matters quickly.
-Keep yourself from distractions and chatter. Remember Who you work for.
-Watch your attitude-
 An undisciplined temperament can only hurt you and others.
-Develop your gifts. Read the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
-Take care of your possessions, ultimately it’s God’s property.
-Keep careful watch on your tongue. I think i’ll write about that in another post. 

KP added:

“Those that make the greatest impact on the world are those that lived disciplined lives. It is an expression of inner comittment to God.”

Where can I begin?! KP exhorts us to start with the little things:

-Seek to avoid extra work on others (put the dishes away, fill up the tank with gas!)
-Break the habit of procrastination
-Master your moods
-Control curiosity. Don’t eavesdrop or look into business that is not yours.

I’m surprised at how much extra time I have when I schedule out my day/week, etc. I have a purpose and it’s amazing to see how much can be accomplished when being resourceful with whats been given.  I’m thankful for those in my life who have taught me how to be a godly woman. I know I don’t get it right all the time. But I will end with this:

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:14