Character Quality: Disciplined

Character Quality: Disciplined  with free coloring page download.

Character Quality: Disciplined

 

According to the Bible there are several goals in the life of the believer: to be conformed to the image of Christ, to know Him (Christ) and make Him known, to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, to live at peace with all people.

 

Additionally we are encouraged to let our light shine, practice hospitality, love one another and trust Him. We are invited to cast all our cares on Him, approach the throne of grace with confidence, and pray without ceasing. All of this while we anticipate His return.

 

But none of these come naturally. None of these are actions that are easy or our initial response to life’s circumstances. No, each of these requires a determined focus. They require discipline.

 

Paul was focused. Having spent many years of his life working against the early church, after he saw the light, he was laser focused on spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. He knew first hand the heat of the battle. He knew the challenges, the realities. Paul knew that the risks were high and the cost was everything. He knew.

 

Yet in the face of these real dangers, Paul chose to discipline himself for the sake of the gospel. His goal was to preach the gospel, to set the captives free, to live in reckless abandon, to encourage the churches, to stand firm and to admonish others to do the same.

 

Paul’s discipline was evidenced in his constant pursuit of God’s will and not his own. In Romans 7 he wrote about his own personal battle against his flesh. In 2 Corinthians 12.7 he describes desiring, begging God to remove a ‘thorn’ some kind of an issue or frustration which Paul felt particularly distracted by, but which God didn’t remove. Further on in 2 Corinthians 12.9 he describes God’s strength in his weaknesses and Christ’s sufficiency.

 

Discipline requires that we don’t do what we want to or what’s easy or what’s convenient. Discipline says no to self, to popular, to enticing. Discipline holds fast, stands guard, leans in. The disciplined life doesn’t demand it’s own way. It doesn’t whine or complain or grumble.

 

The world around us shouts, “Give into to your every want, whim, desire, longing, craving. Give into temptation, don’t deny yourself!” The world says your goal should be your own self-satisfaction, “Take care of yourself. Get as much as you can. Don’t depend on anyone else,” it insists.

 

Even the church can fall prey to the allure of easy, interpreting it as God’s favor, His blessing. Often discipline is dismissed as unnecessary or outdated. Instead people are drawn to those things that are effortless, painless and uncomplicated. We want things to be no problem, no sweat, no bother, no trouble. We are drawn to those choices which are best characterized as a walk in the park, nothing to it, a piece of cake, simple as ABC, child’s play.

 

We shun challenging, difficult and ambitious. Only if we can have some kind of guarantee or assurance or pledge that things will work out in our favor, to our benefit, are we willing to even attempt discipline, much less practice it.

 

God’s word says that our goal should be praising Him in all things, our thoughts, our speech and our actions. In all things, all the time His glory is to be our focus. In order to achieve that God we must discipline ourselves, to not say everything we want to say, to not watch every popular movie, to not allow our anger to harm others, to not spend His resources exclusively on ourselves, to not hold a grudge or be rude or keep a record of wrongs.

 

Discipline means we do the hard work of reigning in our selfishness, controlling our thoughts and subsequent actions, that we live in the shadow of the cross, in the light of eternity, because He’s coming back to take us home. The disciplined life is the life at peace with God, a life characterized by trust in Him who alone is Worthy!

 

For your encouragement and meditation-

Paul’s discipline is best summed up I the following passages:

Philippians 3.13 “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 1.16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Galatians 2.20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

 

Consider this:

How would our lives best be characterized over all, disciplined or undisciplined?

Where are we disciplined? Where are we undisciplined? What goal are we seeking to achieve? What are some ways we can help ourselves be more focused so as to better discipline ourselves? Who is someone we might be willing to be accountable to as we seek to become more disciplined?

 

Father, Teach us. Teach us what it means to live lives that are disciplined. Grant us the desire to be discipline and the strength to honor You through living for Your glory, focused on You. Show us what we need to see, where we are falling short, where Your mercy is new every morning. Thank You for being enough and loving us so.

 

 {Just click on the image below to download your free coloring page for your personal use.}

Disciplined 2

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Rachael Carman
I had it going on—or so I thought. After surviving sixty-three months of pregnancy, countless sleepless nights, and 35,000+ diapers, this one-time control freak encountered God’s grace. And I’m here to encourage you to do the same! I love encouraging and inspiring moms to grow deeper in their walk and relationship with our Heavenly Father.

I’ve been married to my beloved, Davis, since 1986; our life has been a roller-coaster ride, with God at the controls. We have seven kids and let me tell you our family loves to laugh! I enjoy playing in the dirt, eating dark chocolate, and walking on the beach. I’m an author and speaker and I am passionate about helping moms not only survive motherhood, but draw near to the Father and thrive in motherhood.

I’m so glad you’re here.
Posted on: April 10, 2015, by : Rachael Carman