Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Living with Discipline 2

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, discipline is defined as, "to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control; to impose order upon."

As mothers, we likely often think of this word in reference to raising our children. How we handle their discipline. Do we spank, give time outs or withhold privileges? And, why are we having to deal with this same situation again?!

Yes, I think this kind of discipline goes along with the kind of discipline that I am referring to. But it is not the kind I want to focus on for right now.

I'm thinking more along the lines of self-control, moderation and not living in extremes. Looking at that above definition again - I notice a few things:

* discipline requires training
* discipline requires instruction; teaching
* discipline requires exercise; practice in using it!
* discipline requires self-control; saying no to myself
* discipline brings order; peace

These things invite a few questions:

* Why is this important?
* Who oversees the training I require?
* Where do I find the instruction and training I need on this subject?
* When will I find the motivation and time to practice this?
* How far am I committed to going to learn this?
* What will the benefit be?

Let's unfold each of these individually and look at what the Bible says about this.

What comes to your mind when you read the above definition of discipline?

14 comments:

Andrea said...

Good Morning, Monica,
The part of the definition that speaks to me is the last part about "order." When I have things in order, meaning that I've started my day in God's Word and prayer, then my day usually flows better. But I am now asking Him to show me how to order my life, how to prioritize the needful things. So many times I get "stuck" on nonessential things and neglect the needful. I am enjoying your blog so much and I am thankful for your heart's desire, as well. Have a wonderful day!
Andrea

Bonnie said...

Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind when I read that, is that it will take time. We so often think we are failing when we don't see instant results, and we give up. Discipline takes, patience, willingness, a good attitude, humbleness, and persiverance, the last one being a biggie for me!
I'm looking forward to this topic unfolding, as its one I have been struggling with lately myself, and I posted a (rather long) quote from Emilie Barnes on my blog this morning, that (somewhat) goes along with the attitude part.

Oh, and excuse all my spelling errors, boy I wish the comments had spell check!
Thankyou so much for the time, thought and prayer that goes into these "study" posts Monica, your teachers heart is truly a blessing!

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! Self-control is a fruit of HIS Holy Spirit. Self-control seems to be at the root of discipline and has been sorely lacking in my heart the past coupla years. It did not leave all at once. It was a gradual process. I was distracted by life. In return my life got to be more distant from my Lord. Survival became Lord. Survive another move, survive the rentals, suvive the pain of betrayal and the pain of one suffering with cancer. Not a good way to live. I did not mean to let this happen, it crept in. Had I been disiplined in all this I would not be struggling for discipline today. PRAISE GOD there is hope in HIM!!! Discipline is returning SLOWLY, for this takes time. Vision is being renewed (YEA). Vision is needed in order to maintain discipline in our life. What is the goal, direction and focus of our vision? I think this will help discipline as well.tammyp

Wendi said...

I certainly need discipline in my life. I know that my priorities should be God, husband, daughter, home and then everything else. I find that it is so easy to put everything else first.

I love the thought of "discipline brings order;peace" so true. In the instant gradification society we live in I think it is important to realize that all of this takes time and patients. If we lose sight we just need to take a deep breath and start again down the right path.

I don't know if you ever read the blog Coppers Wife by Cheryl. www.xanga.com/copperswife She just had a post about her priorities not being in order and getting them back on track.

I am going to find this discussion very helpful.

Anonymous said...

The quote on Bonnie's blog by E.B. is great,just returned from there.

Melissa said...

To me, discipline is subjecting/submitting your thoughts, feelings, and desires to someone who is in authority over you. This could be God, a husband, a boss, a drill instructor, etc.

I also think discipline is a life long journey. There are many distractions pulling us in every direction, and sometimes even beating us down (families, friends, ministry, hobbies, activities, and modern culture inside the world we live in). There is no escape from it unless we allow God to help bring our thoughts and attitudes under the control of the Holy Sprit...discipline!

Elise said...

Hmmm...It doesn't sound like very much fun, and that is probably why the people who lack discipline lack it. At least for me. I also want results now and don't want to wait. I did exercise a little discipline this morning by getting ready and cleaning my kitchen before I got on the computer. Baby steps...

Don't you just love that ice bucket?!?!
Elise

Jenny said...

Hello, Monica!

Good thoughts here. I've always told myself that discipline isn't punishment, but training. When I think of a disciplined person, for some reason I think of Olympic athletes. They're so focused and have a goal in mind. As far as discipline goes, I wouldn't say that they punish themselves by waking up early to train and eat only what is good for their bodies. It's training with a clear goal in mind.

Rachel Boldman said...

The definition reminds me of how much I need discipline in my life. The part about discipline promoting peace speaks to me because if I am disciplined and complete chores, there are no arguments when I am frustrated that the house looks like a mess. Also, I do not get so overwhelmed that I just shut down and do nothing about the mess. Therefore, I have peace in my own heart as well as my home!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

For me it is also helpful to know that discipline and disciple come from the same Latin root word "discere" meaning to learn.

I must practice self-control to put God first. Humble myself to allow Him, the Master Teacher, to instruct and train me. I need to endure to the end through all life's trials so in the process of this discipline I can truly be a disciple of Christ.

Jenny said...

What a wonderfu post. I am going to do some personal scripture study and be back with my thoughts on this subject.

MyLittle said...

Very good thoughts, thank you very much for that. It's just what I needed today.

Anonymous said...

There is a saying I like "I am who I am becoming" I think it goes with being disciplined. Especially for those of us who are hard on ourselves. When you put discipline in practice that is what you will become with diligence but even in that moment....so no waiting necessary ...just try. I am inspired can't wait to read more. Love this topic Monica. Smiles, Angeliai TX

Anonymous said...

You are a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing God's light and motivating me to be both beautiful and real. :) Angela