Summoning Discipline

I am not a disciplined person. I want to be, but I can never seem to stick to my resolve. No matter what my goal is — regular Bible study and prayer time, diet, exercise, getting to work on time — I always fall short. I’d like to say this is because I’m a creative person who can’t stay on a pre-determined schedule. But while I am somewhat creative, multiple personality tests have told me the logical side of my brain is just as strong. So, here I sit in no man’s land, neither too creative nor too logical to have a valid excuse.

Nike says, “Just do it,” and for some people, it’s just that easy. Not for me. I get distracted, or forget, or say I’ll do it later. No, I’m not ADHD. Too busy? Not really. Lazy? Perhaps. Frustrated? Absolutely!

This idea of discipline has been weighing on my mind this summer as I gear up for myriad changes in the next few weeks. Here’s the short list:

  1. Schools begin to start back up for fall next week. This means a horrible daily commute to work unless I start leaving the house 45 minutes earlier than I do now.
  2. I turn 50 in October and told many people last year I was going to reach my ideal weight by this milestone. (Ain’t gonna happen! I’d at least like to have made a start on it, though.)
  3. I’m in the final stages of becoming a resource (aka foster) parent. When that happens (prayerfully so), I will have more than myself and the cats to consider on a daily basis.

So what’s the solution? Apparently, I can’t summon discipline from within myself. I’ve tried that. For the past five days, I’ve been pretty much home-bound as I recover from out-patient surgery, and I’ve thought a lot about being disciplined: Draw up a schedule and put it all on my calendar (loving my new Galaxy phone, btw), streamline my activities, just do it, and on and on.

Then it dawned on me: I cannot do this on my own. I’ve tried for way too many years (see #2 above) without success. That’s when I heard Stephen Curtis Chapman‘s new song, “Do Everything,” playing on the radio. Here’s the chorus:

“Well let me remind you it all matters just as long as you
Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do”

So, if I’m doing everything to the glory of God (see Scriptures below) and walking in His will, then perhaps I should draw from the strength that He gives me in that walk. My life verse is James 4:8a: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” There’s the “just do it” part — drawing near to God. I’ve got to take that first step, then He will come even closer. (Why relying totally on God seems to be the last resort is the subject of another post.)

I’m going to rethink this discipline thing and focus first on God, asking for His strength in doing what He’s called me to do. If you, too, struggle with discipline issues,join me in meditating on these verses:

Eph. 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 Cor. 10:31. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Peter 4:10-11. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and
dominion forever and ever. Amen.

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About Simply...Selah

PR professor and follower of Christ.
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