Archive for November, 2008

The Spiritual Discipline of… Discipline

November 19, 2008

I woke up this morning around 6am, and my wife coaxed me out of bed around 6:30.  For those of you who think I got up awfully early, my plan was to get up at 5am.  My personal goal (that I’ve never maintained for more than a week or so) is to get up EVERY morning at 5am.  That would give me 2 1/2 hours to wake up, drink coffee, study bible, etc., before I have to get ready for work.

So where did I go wrong?  It’s pretty easy, really: I went to bed late.  My wife went to bed at 9:15pm.  I stayed up to browse a forum ( and play a round of Warcraft 3.  I went to bed at 10:30pm after a “quick” game.  My body likes 8-9 hours of sleep.  You can see where things are already starting to go wrong.

The reality is, I am not a very disciplined person.  If you follow this blog, you can see that I don’t update it very often.  I don’t get my bible study in every day.  I’ve gotten pretty good about praying every morning on the drive in to work, but that’s my high mark.  Oh, and I’m good about getting to work on time every morning.

Discipline, I believe, is simply delayed gratification.  Paul talks about it often in his letters.  “Putting the flesh to death daily”, “picking up your cross”, “training to run the race.”  Despite this, we think we’re doing well if we make it to church every Sunday.  Some of us are “doing well” to make it to church most Sundays.

Based on what I’ve been thinking this morning, I believe that discipline is a life habit.  If you are disciplined in most areas of your life, it is easier to become disciplined in all areas.  On the other hand, if you are NOT disciplined in most areas of your life, you have a hard time becoming disciplined in just one new area.  It comes down do a simple question: Is your habit to do the right thing, or to do what you want?  For me, I tend to do what I want.  I need to change that.  How about you?