December 14, 2009

Devotion Or Discipline

Written by Boyd Bailey

Devotion Or Discipline… “His heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord…” 2 Chronicles 17:6a

What is the difference between devotion and discipline? Is one more valuable than the other? Devotion is an overriding commitment to Christ and to His way of doing things. It engages the heart and mind in learning the ways of the Lord and then applying them. Devotion must be the driving force behind a disciple’s faith for them to persevere in Christ’s call on their life. Your devotion to God dictates how you will live your life.

Discipline on the other hand is the ability to stay focused on the task at hand. It finishes the assignment or completes the course. A disciplined person trains to improve their strength and self-control. They are religious at carrying out routines, fulfilling checklists and getting things done. Discipline is designed to grow your faith with regular readings from God’s word and engaging prayers of praise, thanksgiving, confession and repentance.

However, make sure your discipline is driven by your devotion or you become judgmental and insensitive in your sense of accomplishments. Devotion to Christ first keeps your heart of faith full of grace and truth. Discipline without devotion is like a billowing cloud without refreshing rain. It can become so rigid in its rules that it runs off decent and devoted people. So apply devotion to both God and man, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).

Furthermore, use your passionate devotion to focus solely on one thing. Like Paul, learn to channel all your energies into one endeavor and see it through to the end. “Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.” (Acts 18:5b). It is better to complete one task than to start a dozen and leave them all undone. Indeed, your devotion to Christ determines your discipline over the long term. So keep this your motivation and discipline will follow. A heart devoted to the Lord’s ways does not stray.Is my heart devoted to the ways of the Lord? Does my discipline flow from my devotion to Christ?

Related Readings: Leviticus 27:28; Nehemiah 5:16; Matthew 6:24; Acts 2:42

Transformational Living

What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?

How will I respond?


  1. Hi Boyd, thank you for your insight and wisdom re: “Devotion or Discipline” It reminds me so much of Bill Bright’s words to CCC staff, “ministry must be an outflow of your intimate relationship with Christ”…

    Bless you brother.

  2. Tenai says:

    Thanks Boyd. This was helpful. Blessings!

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