“When you become more informed, you can become more committed to a goal.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 3, 2021
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
Maybe the word “discipline” makes you cringe. Perhaps it conjures up memories of being forced to run around a track in junior high, finish a 20-page college term paper, or read a book that you had zero interest in.
Discipline may not always seem pleasant, but it’s something we all need to nurture within ourselves, because when we develop discipline, it means we can persevere, endure difficulties, and exercise self-control. In short, it means we can become more of who God created us to be.
There are lots of ideas out there about the origin of discipline. Where does it come from and how can someone develop greater discipline? Why do some people have more of it than others?
First, discipline often comes from having a vision and having passion about a particular task or project. Nehemiah is a great example of this. He worked with his people day and night to rebuild the wall. And passion, given by God, moved him to complete this great work that seemed impossible (Nehemiah 4:22; Nehemiah 2:12).
Most often, someone will only discipline themselves if they believe a goal is worth attaining. If you are committed to a goal, you’ll be more committed to being disciplined to reach that goal.
But what if you want to reach a certain goal, but you are not excited about it? What if it’s something that you know you should do, but it’s something you don’t want to do? For example, you know you should start an exercise program, get up an hour earlier, learn a new hobby or attain a new skill, but you just can’t get into it.
How is it possible to become more disciplined if passion creates discipline and you have zero passion for a particular endeavor?
Here are 4 things to help you become more disciplined:
First, pray. Remember that God will help you. He has given you the ability to be disciplined about that which He has called you to accomplish.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” That’s great news!
Sometimes when someone says they haven’t been able to accomplish a particular thing, the truth is that they haven’t tried. They have forgotten that God is on their side, and that He has given them a spirit of self-control. So, they back down from the challenge. Remember, God wants to help you.
Next, learn. When you become more informed, you can become more committed to a goal. For example, if you aren’t excited about eating healthy, educating yourself about the reasons for eating healthy, the benefits of eating healthy, and the way that it helps you fight disease may help you become more disciplined. Education is part of what changes your perception of who you can become.
Get accountability. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” There is nothing better than a strong support system to help you develop greater discipline. Seek out a group that is accomplishing what you want to accomplish then submit yourself to accountability. There is power in numbers.
Finally, remember that discipline takes practice. Discipline can grow in you over time. So, if you don’t get it right from the beginning, don’t beat yourself up. Be gracious to yourself. Then keep going.
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Lord, help me to remember that you have empowered me to be self-disciplined and controlled. Help me to continually trust you for what you have called me to be. Then, help me step out in faith. Amen.
Ask yourself the following questions:
If I continue to put this off and I look back five years from now, how will I feel?
Do I feel like what I want to accomplish is possible for other people but not for me? If so, why?
Do I believe God will give me the discipline and that I can do all things through him? Am I denying this truth in my life?
Am I trying to tell myself that I should do something when it’s not really something I should do? Instead, am I being motivated out of guilt?
What are the driving motivators that are preventing me from becoming more disciplined or are telling me that I should be more disciplined?
Virgil Meares/Hosanna Music – Spirit of Power
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