Discipline. I don’t even like the word, discipline. In fact, that is in part why I became a counselor, because teaching involved way to much discipline. I always considered myself too kind hearted, and when a kid would chunk a toy across the room, rather than discipline, my heart would say “Awww, I wonder why he is so angry, poor thing”. Discipline. I just really don’t like the word; however, I can’t help but notice its remarkable similarity to the word disciple. So discipline can’t be all bad, can it?
Disciple and discipline come from the same Latin root word disciplina meaning "learning" and discipulus means "one who learns." So very many times I know that God is trying to teach me something, to discipline me, and yet I refuse to learn! I say stubbornly, No God, I will try it my way, again. I know it didn’t work last time, but I think I’ll try it my way, just one more time. And there I go walking around the same mountain again, in circles, and wondering why I never get to the top.
I wonder why it is that we are so much quicker to trust our meek little selves rather than trust a gigantic God who obviously knows better than we do. Is it really that we think we know better than God? Or is it that we think he is so gigantic that he couldn’t possibly care for us and love us like he says he does? I think it must be more of the latter. After all, I know that God is much more knowledgeable than I am, however I don’t always trust him. I just cannot quite convince myself that he really loves me enough to want what is best for me and that he really cares enough to fully understand my circumstances. It is as if I think I live in a world where he only knows what I tell him, and if I don’t tell him everything, he couldn’t possibly understand. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. He knows my thoughts better than I do, and he even knows and understands why I think the things I do.
So back to discipline I am. The Holy Spirit speaks to me and says, dear one, you must trust me; you must trust that I love you and I only want what is best for you. You must choose to read my word and listen to what I am speaking to your heart. And then not only listen, but LEARN, discipline yourself to the principles of my word. Follow me wherever I lead you, only then will you find fulfillment. But most of the time I say no, I will continue to beat my head against the wall instead. LOL!
Discipline starts with one choice, one small choice to do what the Lord asks of me, one small bit of trust that he really does want what is best for me. If I do not do this, I will pay the price. I will never fulfill what he set me apart to do in this world, I will fulfill my own selfish-shallow destiny rather than the sanctified glorified work he has for me. In essence, I am choosing to miss out on all the blessings he has when I choose not to follow his lead. That’s a scary thought. Discipline, call it what you will, call it learning if you want. Regardless of what we name it, it is essential. He disciplines those he loves, and he wants what is best for you. Just start with trusting him once today, following his lead once today; let’s see what he does with just an itty bit of faith. I am confident it will be amazing.