The Pain of Discipline

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11When I think about following Jesus, I love to think about the grace, forgiveness, and the hope that He gives. Discipline on the other hand, isn’t a very attractive concept. I agree with the writer of Hebrews, it usually seems painful.

There are many spiritual disciplines:

  • Prayer
  • Bible reading
  • Fasting
  • Worship
  • Cultivating healthy relationships (fellowship)
  • Rest
  • Serving
  • Giving

This of course isn’t an exhaustive list, but if we are serious about being disciples of Jesus, then we need to employ spiritual disciplines in our lives. You may have already noticed that the words disciple and discipline are very similar, and even share the same root word.

Last Sunday Pastor Kevan shared about how David passed the discipline test, and how it prepared him for his battle with Goliath (you can check out the message here if you missed it).
David spent his early years faithfully and diligently adding good habits to his life. When he met Goliath, he was both physically and spiritually prepared to do what no one else could or was willing to do.

“The path to public confidence is always paved with private discipline.”
– Craig Groeschel

Knowing what is good is so much easier than doing what is good. I know carrots are good, but I’d rather eat chips. Yet I’ve found that when I establish one good habit in my life it’s much easier to add another one. One habit that I chose to start 6 years ago is reading the Bible daily. This simple habit has enabled me to read the entire Bible cover to cover every single year.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years, and in many of my early years, I barely read the Bible at all. I used to feel guilty as a young Christian about how I didn’t spend much time reading the most important book ever written.

This discipline has altered my prayer life and my understanding of who God is. It seemed painful to start this daily habit. I would make up excuses like, “I’m too tired” or, “I’m too busy.” There are also large parts of the Bible that are challenging to read, but the daily discipline of reading has helped me to not give up. It is in this daily reading that my mind is renewed, and my faith is strengthened. It is one of the most beneficial habits that I’ve ever added to my life.

I highly recommend Bible In One Year (