Almost everyone who reads this post can resonate with the frustration of trying to start a new discipline and failing. For years I did what lots of people do and started making New Years resolutions. And like most people, January would be great and then February would come...and one thing led to another, and the good intentions produced little results. There I was with yet another failed attempt at self-discipline.
I think this is one place we are losing our footing as men. We must develop the ability to be disciplined in order to fulfill our God-given roles as men. Far too many men allow a spirit of passivity to keep them from engaging the changes God wishes to make in their lives. Here's the reality: God loves you too much to leave you the way you are. So, what is one thing God wants to change in you? Whatever it is, you will need God's help and you will have to make some different choices.
Every successful new discipline has three essential ingredients:
1. Particular Wisdom.
A missing piece in our discipline is often particular wisdom, insight or information. We are unaware of some things and need special insight to know what's going on and how to change things. For some, this information is found on the scale as the number keeps getting bigger and bigger until you realize that something has to change. For some, that information is a specific Bible verse, a book that outlines the specifics of an issue or sermon that brought fresh conviction over some area out of control in your life. We need wisdom! I'll give you a prayer that King David prayed in Psalm 139: 23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Would you be willing to pray, "God, show me the sin in my life and lead me to change"?
Particular wisdom answers the question, "Why?" of discipline.
2. A Proven System.
Every area of sin and lack of discipline is a result of a habit. in other words, the choices you have been making are giving you the results you are seeing. We need new patterns and habits and we need a system to develop successful disciplines. A system tells you what to do because you are trying to develop a new ways of doing things. You need a regimen or clear path to follow. Adopt a system and stick with a system until your new habits are stronger than your old habits.
A proven system answers the question, "What?" of discipline.
3. Purposeful Relationships.
"Everybody needs somebody sometimes." This is a powerful lyric from a song performed by Keith Urban that is absolutely true in our lives. We need a person to come alongside us and help us stay true to our commitment of discipline. We need a coach; someone to challenge us or motivate us when we want to quit. Frankly, we need someone to care for us when we fail to care for ourselves. When the freshness wears off and the old habits are fighting hard to keep their place, you need someone who doesn't feel your fatigue to help prop you up with encouragement and help strengthen you for another day.
Purposeful relationships answers the question, "Who?" of discipline.
I have seen these principles prove themselves to be true time after time in my life. If your discipline fails, it's because you are missing one or more of these essential ingredients.
Make a change NOW.
List one area of your life that needs discipline.
Why do you want this area to change?
What is your specific, proven system?
Who is your purposeful relationship?
Post your comments here.