We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine


Discipline without Direction is Drudgery

In his book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney states that “Discipline without direction is drudgery.”

Elton Trueblood once said, “We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom . . . that we are most free when we are bound. But not just any way of being bound will suffice; what matters is the character of our binding. The one who would be an athlete, but who is unwilling to discipline his body by regular exercise and abstinence, is not free to excel. His failure to train rigorously denies him the freedom to run with the desired speed and endurance.” The giants of faith have one thing in common. With one concerted voice, their lives ring out the truth that “Discipline is the price of freedom.”

While Trueblood is right in calling discipline “the price” of freedom, let us not forget that freedom is “the final reward of discipline.” Children who discipline themselves to practice an instrument will some day be “free” to play a difficult arrangement. Similarly, those who have exercised self-discipline in memorizing God’s Word experience a skillful “freedom” to share Scripture with the lost as well as enjoy the vast treasures that water their soul daily.

We live in a culture that has lost its drive for self-discipline. Our economy, our homes, our businesses, our communities, and our churches are a mirror image of individual self discipline. In 2nd Peter 1, the apostle teaches us that the reward for diligent self-discipline in the practice of godliness is a life that will never fall. Now that’s a reward worth pursuing.

Published in: on November 21, 2011 at 4:13 am  Comments (2)