At Ephesus the last few weeks, we have been doing a series on spiritual disciplines. During Ben’s opening sermon, he made the comment that I used for the title of today’s blog. Trust me..he gave other examples of what lack of discipline leads to as well, but this one has hit home the most. The areas of my life that I would say lack the most discipline would be…….drumroll please….school work, keeping my room clean, getting to the gym, reading my bible, and keeping in touch with faraway friends.
If I had to guess, I would say some of you might have some of these same things on your list as well. Sometimes it feels like these aren’t that big of a deal. Life gets busy, so what if my room isn’t clean, so what if that stack of papers goes into the trash instead of the gradebook. In the grand scheme of things does any of that really hold any importance?
Sure they do. They matter when your best friend wants her favorite shirt back and it’s at the bottom of the pile in your bathroom. It matters when you want to fly to Haiti at the drop of a dime but your passport is somewhere in the bottom of box of papers under your desk. It matters when you go to do report cards and you have to spend three days before grading papers you had put off grading and now you can’t spend time with a friend who just happens to be in town. Or heaven forbid someone ask you about a story from the bible, or why you believe what you believe…but your bible is collecting dust on the back of your toilet. Lack of discipline steals your freedom. Your freedom to get up and go and not have to worry about all that stuff you haven’t been self-controlled enough to take care of. It steals your freedom to throw on a bridesmaid dress or head to the beach because you kept hitting snooze instead of getting to the gym and now you have a little more junk in the trunk than you last remembered. It steals your freedom to share who God is from his word, because you don’t remember what it says.
Only the spirit living in you can help you be disciplined. Only Jesus can keep my fingers from the snooze when my gym shoes are ready to go to the gym. Only the love of God Himself can bring to mind my closest friends and urge me to send them a letter or pick up my phone to call them. As Christians we need to be a people of discipline. I need to have enough freedom that when a hurting friend needs some of my time, or a place to stay, or a ride in my car, or encouragement from the word, or even if they need me to run to the police for help (extreme I know, but I needed an exercise example) I can say yes! because everything in my life is taken care of…so that I can take care of those around me. Isn’t that what it’s all about? taking care of others.
So, not only does lack of discipline lead to, a muffin top, a stank bathroom, or a week long stack of papers to put a sticker on, it keeps you from the freedom to take care of others, and to enjoy this beautiful life that God has so graciously given you.
So let’s unite in being people of discipline, people with drive, people with the word on their lips, clean closets, and better fitting jeans!