For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly. Proverbs 5:23
Charles Spurgeon, one of the most prolific pastors of all time said just a few weeks before his death, “I look back, and remember what I might have done and have not done; what opportunities of usefulness I have not seized; what sins I have allowed to pass unrebuked; what struggling beginners in grace I have failed to help.” A man who had spoken to millions. Who brought the good news of Jesus’ healing lights to so many, this man in all humility felt he could have done more.
How many of us can say we have used our time as wisely for the Lord? How many of us have instead placed so many other activities ahead of helping others out of their darkness? Of allowing the Holy Spirit to help us out of our own darkness?
When we hear the words “Christian discipline” it may cause us to cringe or to worry about what will be required of us or what we will have to give up. It sounds harsh and monk-like. Our thoughts on it may be borrowed from what the world may think of Christians – joyless, rule followers. However, we are told throughout Proverbs that God’s idea of discipline is actually a lifesaver, peace creator, and joy maker.
Because God loves all of us – believer and non – He yearns for us to live on the disciplined path. One that seeks to keep us from the darkness of sexual immorality, greed, self-importance, violence, and more.
Christian discipline includes these aspects: spiritual, social, physical and mental. Each, when practiced close in hand with Jesus, is intended to live the full, beautiful, peaceful and joy-filled life God wants for us. When we stay in His Word and prayer, when we are careful and loving with our relationships with others, when we are good stewards of our bodies, and when we keep our thoughts free of lust, greed and self, we will find our paths simpler. Our decisions about life get easier. That’s not to say we won’t encounter push back from the world or even trials. But in the midst of all that life will throw at us, our Christian discipline will keep the path forward clear.
Heavenly Father, help me to develop a disciplined life that aligns with your Word so that I may become more like Jesus and experience the life you intend for me. Amen