Discipline... It's That Easy!
ORGANIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR PRIORITIES! HAVE DISCIPLINE! Whoa, that’s “easy for you to say!”
Exercise, devotions, prayer, Bible study, work, laundry, house cleaning, home repairs and maintenance – I just can’t seem to get everything done! My life sometimes seems a little out of control. I know I’m misusing Saint Paul’s beautiful words, but “For what I want to do, I do not do…” and “What a wretched man am I!” Yes, I know that doing my exercises was not what Paul was talking about in Romans Chapter 7. But still, it’s frustrating to have so much trouble getting all the things done I should be doing!
I know, all it takes is DISCIPLINE, setting PRIORITIES, and setting TIMES to get it all done. Well, I guess that’s my problem – DISCIPLINE (or the lack of it). I don’t have the discipline to consistently get done what I know I should be doing! Some folks assume that because I’m a Deacon, I must have it all together, having great discipline in my spiritual life. Not always so!
I’m a little envious of my friends that send me work related emails at 6:30 in the morning, knowing that they have already had their morning devotions, prayers and scripture readings. I’m in awe (and a little embarrassed) that they get so much done in a day. I struggle to be up by 7:00 in the morning, and I spend the first hour with my cup of coffee in my hands! Do you think I could learn something from their example?
Yes, I could use a good dose of discipline! Every week, I meet with a few other men from Lutheran Cursillo in an accountability group. We each share how we are faring in our piety, study, and actions. Each week in this group, I’m reminded of Christ’s presence in my life – thanks be to God - and reminded that I still am not accomplishing all that I should – especially in my daily spiritual aids. For example, I believe “Morning Offering” is so very important to give thanks to God for another day, to meditate on what His plan is for me this day, and to ask His Holy Spirit to guide me during the day. Yet, I fall short of that being an absolute, every day, first thing in the morning discipline.
I know that I absolutely need to be exercising several times a week. Yet, I’m not consistent. I know that I need to resist the temptation to watch too much TV - except for Purdue football and basketball; and of course, the Walking Dead (Ha!).
A couple of years ago, our church featured insights from the book Sacred Rhythms, Arranging our lives for Spiritual Transformation, by Ruth Haley Barton. I loved that book! It revealed to me so many ways I should and could build my own sacred rhythms.
I know the value of exercise. I know the value of daily meditation, scripture, and prayer. I know the value of insuring the most important daily disciplines. Yes, I know what I need to do, but…
So, what’s the answer for living a more disciplined life when it’s not your nature? ACCOUNTABILITY GROUPS OR PARTNERS! Some of the most diligent folks I know in keeping up with daily devotions, prayer, and Bible study have their spouses as accountability partners. They come together almost without fail in their devotions. Well, I’m single and live alone. But thanks be to God that I have my weekly group (I met this group on a men’s weekend Cursillo retreat...ask me more about Cursillo if you are interested in going this Spring) to keep reminding me to always strive to do better in my spiritual life!
Thanks be to God also that I’ve had wonderful coaches and groups over time to help me renew and sustain an exercise program. (Yes, coach Coe Kirby, I’m getting back into exercise and will be back with the 7 am group that meets at our church on Wednesdays)
And I just love our Journey Brothers and Journey Sisters programs, where two folks meet regularly to share how their lives are going, and go give each other encouragement. I so enjoy and am blessed in meeting with my Christian brothers in fellowship, caring, and encouragement.
If, like me, you want to lead a more disciplined life, being consistent in your spiritual and physical priorities, find people who will come together with you in accountability and support. I bet you will bless them just as they will bless you!
Check out these verses this week for your disciplined time in God’s Word:
Proverbs 27:17 – Just as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Hebrews 10:25 – Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…