When I think of the word discipline, it doesn’t bring about warm, fuzzy, feelings. I think of the ONE and ONLY time I received a spanking from my Dad. I think of being sent to my room or having my mouth washed out with soap because I lied to my mom.
Lately the word discipline has been popping into my mind. God has been revealing areas in my life that lack discipline.
- Taking care of myself physically – getting exercise, not drinking so many Dr Peppers….
- Spending habits – desiring too many material things, spending money when I need to be saving it…..
- Growing in my relationship with God – not reading my Bible enough, praying enough, going to church like I should….
(It seems like I am one, undisciplined mess after reading back over that list! Please don’t judge!)
I’m one of those people who loves to make lists and I get a thrill each time I cross something off of it – but I also try and do too much at one time. If I can’t give something my 100% then I get discouraged and just quit. Can anyone relate?
Instead of taking a walk around the block, I feel like I need to run a mile.
Instead of drinking one less Dr Pepper a day, I feel like I should quit cold turkey.
Instead of reading my Bible for 5-10 minutes, I feel like I should be reading and praying for an hour!
I am seriously exhausted before I even begin! I’m almost finished reading Holley Gerth’s book “You’re Already Amazing,” and she shares something that I am trying to implement. She says we should try the “Do What You Can Plan.”
We should acknowledge areas we feel like God wants us to change, take a small step towards improving our self in that area, and then celebrate the small accomplishments.
I know that I need to drop a few pounds and get in better shape, but I HATE working out! I have decided to do what I can.
On Saturday, I ran uphill, pulling a wagon, in the pouring rain at the zoo. I think that’s a great small step, don’t you. I was so out of breath, it definitely qualified as a workout.
On Sunday, John and I took Jackson for a walk at the park and we completed a mile.
On Monday, I pushed Jackson in the stroller and walked around the fairgrounds at a baby consignment sale and then went to the park with John and walked another mile.
Last night, we walked two!
In my spiritual life, I have taken on the JOY Challenge this week. My friend Ashley writes:
“Discipline is the hardest part about the Christian Life. One day we read our Bible and the rest of the week, we wonder why we are not experiencing life to the fullest. Be determined to get in your Bible. 🙂 You can do it!!! JOY Challenge for this week: Read one passage (five-six verses of a familiar chapter) of the Bible everyday for five minutes. Choose one verse and write it down to memorize. Say it aloud everyday of the week. At the end of the week, consider how this practice has encouraged your mind and heart.”
Discipline is never fun, but it is needed! The Bible says, “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)
We are called to “be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” (Titus 1:8)
Are there areas in your life that need discipline? What small steps can you take to make the changes God is asking you to make? Remember Small. Steps!