Discipline: A Practical Step for Christians

Monday, June 03, 2013

While growing up I was in sports, specifically basketball and volleyball. My father coached me in my teams, as well as backyard practices. One thing that still sticks out about these times of disciplined behavior is a focus on muscle memory - repeating the same action over and over until the muscles can do the action without the brain focusing on it 100%. During long practices my dad would remind me the importance of this muscle memory, and that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

So now I'm thinking, what about spiritual disciplines, should there be an aspect to this behavior that becomes muscle memory? Heart-muscle memory? Mind-muscle memory? And is it difficult so we will look for a Coach to remind us to keep at it over and over? A need for a Leader to rely on?

A practical step for christians


Alright, so what is a spiritual discipline seems like the right place to start, or maybe simply discipline?


Discipline: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character (considered an obsolete definition - instruction) (definition source)

It is interesting to note that the idea of discipline as a form of instruction is now considered obsolete - interesting point on our society there, no?

Maybe it is easier, while our minds have been trained by societal definitions, to think of this as a process of becoming disciplined, in stead of following disciplines...
Spiritual Disciplines: skills that should become habits that will allow a follower of Christ to better hear the Holy Spirit and be used regularly for God's purpose. 


Most common Spiritual Disciplines: Prayer, Bible reading, Fellowship, Serving, Evangelizing, Fasting, Silence & Solitude, Confession, Journaling...

Alright so know we are on the same page (you're not? leave a comment!) what are supposed to do? How are these disciplines supposed to happen in our busy lives? And what exactly is there to be gained by putting ourselves through such discipline?

The answer might seem obvious to many of you, but in case you are like me and often need reminded, God created us to have relations, or relationships with others, most importantly, He created us to have a relationship with us. And all good relationships need effort to help them grow and flourish. 

Psalm 57:7a
Psalm 57:7a


Over the course of the month I will spend some time discussing the need for Christians to work towards being disciplined in daily prayer and Bible reading, as I see these two disciplines the necessary foundation for all other disciplines.  The idea of needing milk before solid food...  And since scripture tells us to learn to do good (Isaiah 1:17a) take comfort in the idea that learning takes effort, time and discipline!

However, before jumping in, let me take a moment and digress slightly. You see, the idea that Christians can be saved by doing something is false, do not think for one moment that becoming strictly disciplined in these behaviors will save you. Grace is a free gift from the Father, we simply must have faith in Jesus Christ. These disciplines are behaviors we can work on after we receive grace as a way to strengthen our relationship with the Creator and Giver of Grace.


Galatians 5:6
Galatians 2:16 & Galatians 5:6 

So if you are not yet a Christian, this series might not be for you... And if you are a Christian, always know that your Grace was given to you as a gift, not because of something you did, or will do. Only with that mindset can these disciplines strengthen you.



Check out the complete series
Discipline: Bible Reading
Discipline: Prayer
Discipline: Thoughts for further study


Linked up with: http://www.create-with-joy.com/2013/06/inspire-me-monday-week-74.htmlhttp://the-life-of-faith.blogspot.com/2013/05/hey-mamas-welcome-back-for-another.htmlhttp://www.thebettermom.com/http://www.momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/http://abidingwoman.com/http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com/http://www.aboverubies.net/http://cornerstoneconfessions.com/2013/06/t2t-linky-party-54.html

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