Mark Affleck

Understanding The DARKER SIDE Of Discipline

August 27, 2020
Spiritual Growth

This just in from our global tribe of nearly 800,000 online followers: A close Christian friend said I have the “WRONG KIND OF DISCIPLINE.” What does that mean?

The word DISCIPLINE represents a sweeping force in life that holds the power to transform people, projects, and the planet. It is also WIDELY MISUNDERSTOOD.
Let’s start with the word’s deep roots in the Christian faith that make it special, even sacred.
Mature believers are called DISCIPLES and that makes it mandatory that we have DISCIPLINE. The more discipline we have, the more God can use us.
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”  1 Timothy 4:7
Now let’s flip the page to contemporary discipline.
Most people value discipline and want to be disciplined. But that “ain’t easy.” Discipline is difficult to develop and even harder to sustain.
We want to be disciplined for a lot of reasons…mostly to get things done. And this is where we run into the first sign of trouble with the word DISCIPLINE. Some forms of DISCIPLINE—evening seeking God—can be ungodly, sometimes unspiritual, occasionally sinful.  
The elevator car that moves us up toward good and drops us down into bad is pushed by discipline in BOTH directions. Up and Down. Good and Bad. Heaven and Hell.
We can sort that difference by considering what our discipline is intended to do or produce or cause to happen. It’s a simple question: Can you see God through the front window beckoning you into his future or is he a fast-fading figure standing deserted in your rear-view mirror?
The goal behind our discipline is to stay CONNECTED to God:
“Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.” Proverbs 1:28
God despises discipline when it betrays our faith and trust in him. He wants to see our discipline aimed at glorifying him, not elevating us.
I ask God to have my discipline pave a road to him and his grace and mercy and hope.
When was the last time you checked the DISCIPLINE LEVEL in your life and the MOTIVES behind it?
“Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

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