The Discipline Challenge

(Originally written in June 2013)

Life has seasons. I’ve written a lot on this recently. In each season, God teaches us something about Himself and about how we can grow closer to Him. Knowing this truth makes me very prone to self-psychoanalysis for the sole purpose of improvement as a person, an adult, and a woman of God. That is, I’m extremely introspective, and I consistently check in with myself about how I’m thinking, feeling, and acting in the world. I want to be the best possible daughter for the Father I love so much, and who loves me so freakin’ much!

All that to say this… right now, I need DISCIPLINE.

I’ve recently made some changes in my work and will have a more open and flexible schedule. I’ve worked the conventional, full-time, 8-5 gig, and was very disciplined about going to work at the same time five days a week. Recently, I realized though that it had become the only area that I was very disciplined in. I’d find excuses not to get in The Word, not to go see friends, not to hit the gym, not even to finish doing my laundry (I hate the folding and putting away part). I had excuses for everything! But, saying you’re “too tired” for all of these simple tasks is not right! In fact, it’s downright lazy! So with this newfound schedule freedom, I’m challenging myself to grow my self-discipline. I’m going to (hopefully) condition myself spiritually, physically, mentally, and relationally, so that I can do the best work possible for God and His Kingdom, and run like 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 calls us to.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Also, I’m hoping that writing this here will help hold me accountable, because I’ll need it!

My Personal Discipline Challenge:

  • Get in The Word (not just your devotional or one daily YouVersion verse) every single day. It’s on your iPhone, and there’s an auditory function, so you have no more excuses. Spend time in your favorite relationship.
  • Go out of your way to spend quality time with your family. Watching tv next to them does not count!
  • When spending time with others, put your phone away! Focus on the people in front of you. Don’t worry, Instagram will still be there.
  • Take care of your body. Eat clean. See a doctor for the things you’ve been worried about. Run every other day, and surf like you’ve always been meaning to.
  • Follow through on your commitments and tasks. Don’t bail on things you’ve agreed to do. It’s not cool, and no one appreciates that. Finish putting away all of your laundry. Make your damn bed for once!
  • Don’t buy any clothing, shoes, or accessories, unless they’re gifts for other people OR for dire practical needs, as in you absolutely need it!  Listen to Society by Eddie Vedder when you feel like purchasing and remember, people all over live happy, wonderful, and fulfilling lives on less than you currently have. You don’t need more! In fact, give back and downsize!

These are the things I’ve been far too careless about. Yes, discipline sounds scary, and this isn’t about sucking the fun out of life. Quite the opposite. It’s about being disciplined in the aspects of this life that matter, your relationship with God, family, friends, and health. It’s about living in such a way that you’re able to really taste and experience everything, the way you were meant to.

What’s God teaching you in this season? Any huge overarching themes? How can we pay attention to what He’s doing and grow into the people He’s called us to be?

Getting to the top takes discipline (Photo via Pinterest)
Getting to the top takes discipline
(Photo via Pinterest)

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