Beating sloth and eight other thoughts on discipline.

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If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat! Proverbs 20:13

1. Discipline harnesses your capacity to focus in order to bring about a sustained change.

2. Discipline about the “right” things in life is as important as having the capacity to focus.

3. You can’t be disciplined about everything at once in life at the same time; so discipline multiplies itself through the creation of habits; habits are disciplines and systems built into your life or organization over time. Disciplined people have lots of “good” habits.

4. Discipline is the capacity to delay gratification in order to achieve greater success. (Bill Hybels)

5. Excellent people with sustained discipline tap into deep wells of reverence for what matters most in life.

6. Reverence beats sloth’s reluctance to embrace pain associated with discipline and brings honour and love to our relationship with God, self, people, and the stuff of earth.

7. Disciplined people decide ahead of time on how to use their focus, time, and resources in order to advance an area of their lives. They “research” best practices and experiment along the way.

8. Discipline in some areas of life will mean you disappoint people for a time because you will be unavailable for everything. Discipline is a kind of purposed and selected neglect. Wisdom required!

9. Discipline at its best accepts scarcity for a time in order to tap into the abundance of God’s provision.

Discipline ~ Key Verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — its painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”  Hebrews 12:11

Can you identify the resistance in the following?

Lifting weights.

Taking something sugary out of our diet.

Learning a new skill.

Learning a new language.

Pressing in to understand a new set of information.

Reviewing Scripture verses in order to memorize them.

Learning a new musical instrument.

Taking responsibility of how we feel without blaming another human.

Accepting the limits of our time and energy with our current responsibilities.

All these require discipline.  What discipline has in common is that it meets resistance.  Discipline is a kind of resistance training.  John tells us that Jesus came full of grace and truth.  As He invites us into relationship with Him we also get introduced to the responsibilities that flow from our identity in His Kingdom.  Grace and truth actually run into the resistance of my heart and my flesh toward God, toward change, toward movement in His mission.  But the first point of discipline is to bring me into a yielded relationship with God.  He will enlarge my vision of His love.  He will pour in His Holy Spirit to renew our desire for Him. God disciplines those He loves in order to shape us for Christ likeness.  It may not be enjoyable in the moment but the payoff is extraordinary.

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening — its painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”  Hebrews 12:11