Discipline is what believers need the most but wants the least. Much of the anxiety and the instability in the lives of many Christians can be traced to an indiscipline life. There may be secondary causes but behind all is a basic need for discipline. It involves self restraint, courage, and perseverance as the inner protection of the soul. Many emotional disorders are the accumulation of years of self indulgent living.
A lifelong pattern of running away from trials, of avoiding difficult people, of seeking the easy way, of giving up when the going gets rough, produces sick believers, who are incapable of fulfilling God’s perfect will for their lives or of functioning as useful members of the body of Christ. “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10. Days of adversity will come to us. Only by consistent, disciplined living can that strength of character be developed in us that can enable us to face those days of adversity without fainting.
Living the disciplined life does the following to you:
· Produces Maturity
No one can reach full maturity unless he or she is disciplined in daily life. Discipline includes subjection of the body’s physical appetites to the Lordship of Christ. It also includes discipline in the sexual area. The sexual urge has to be controlled. The man or woman of disciplined character does not have a warm responsive wife or husband, who caters for his or her every desire, in order to keep him or herself pure. It is by the grace of God that he or she keeps him or herself pure. This has nothing to do with natural temperament but with discipline.
· Mastery of Moods
When we are slaves to our moods, we can make foolish decisions, spend money unnecessarily, neglect our duties and alter our behavior to people around us. At first, people may be confused. They will learn to be careful in their relationships with us because they never know what mood they will find us in. This makes for a poor testimony of our Savior and for the salvation we profess. A consistent work for God can be done by those who have learnt to conquer their moods and work when “they do not feel like it.” Disciplined character also means the mastery of our moods.
· Restrained Tongue
A man or woman may have a disciplined body, mind and will, even disciplined emotions, appetites and habits but a loose tongue betrays a fatal fault in his armor. Frankness is a virtue only when it is coupled with intelligent, loving tact and discretion. “If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26. It takes a far higher display of discipline to refrain from speaking than it does to speak.