D is for discipline...

An ordered life- one that honors God’s commandments, and sets aside time for Him, will see great blessing. It may not be the kind of blessing you’re thinking of- a new house, a fancy car, or freedom from any sickness or sadness. No, it’s a blessing far greater. Those that pursue Christ through the spiritual disciplines will see more and more of the greatest treasure of all - Jesus Himself! And while external circumstances may be difficult, you will have Christ Himself.

The Bible says in the Psalms, "I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever." Well-known pastor John Piper said, "It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man."

If through the spiritual disciplines God becomes greater and more significant- you are heading in the right direction! If through your spiritual practices you are compelled to worship Jesus Christ- you are getting there. If you are motivated to tell other people about Jesus, you are on the right track. Remember the goal of the spiritual disciplines is not discipline but to become more Christ-like, to worship more fully, and to help bring others into a relationship with our Lord Jesus. Nothing is better than that.

Luis Palau

I heard the end of this on the way to work the other day.  the last paragraph is what struck me (because that is all i heard in my frantic flipping of the radio stations, searching for music and not voice)  "Remember the goal of spiritual disciplines is not discipline but to become more Christ-like, to worship more fully, and to help bring others into a relationship with out Lord Jesus.  Nothing is better than that."  So often people equate christianity, or faith of any kind, to rules, regulations, and well... discipline.  But the purpose of spiritual discipline, is not discipline... it is to be more Christ-like.  to make God bigger and us smaller.  and in doing that we worship more fully and lead others to him.  you can find the short weekly series on discipline here.  and i advise you to... there is some good stuff in there.

he warns us against the extreme of legalism in our spiritual disciplines.  he  reminds us that discipline is a good character trait to have, but if that discipline is not leading us to love and serve others, than our discipline isn't serving a purpose.  he tells us to use the result of our discipline to share Christ with others.

i liked every part of this series, and think you would enjoy it too... so check it out.

while reading this series, my mind began to drift to the discipline of my own child, who is growing more naughty by the moment.  i know these things are not the same, the discipline of children, is far different from the spiritual discipline luis palau was speaking of... but my mind is nearly always consumed with thougths of my family (yes this is probably proof of my own lack of spiritual discipline, but let's pretend it doesn't).

asher knows the things he is not supposed to do, he understands when we say "no". 

and still there are moments when he heads toward that fireplace screen looking at me the whole way, waiting for me to react, because he knows he is not supposed to play with it.  and he stands an inch away with his hand outstretched smirking at me as if saying, "look at me, mom, what are you going to do?  i'm gonna touch it..."  and that little naughty face is so cute i want to just scoop him up and kiss him and set him back down to play with the fireplace screen. 

but i remember the reason for not allowing him to play with that fireplace screen.  the pointy scrolled iron edges of the screen could hurt him.  if he pulls the screen on top of himself he could hurt himself.  and if he dared to move it, he would find all the excitement and wonder of the fireplace itself, which could of course lead to DANGER.  so instead i tell him "no".  and watch him inch closer, not taking his eyes off of me.  and then i have to walk over and again tell him, "no" while standing between him and the screen.  and then he tries to reach around me again to grab that screen again.

and i remind myself that in disciplining him now, i am teaching him there are boundaries.  in disciplining him now, i am keeping him safe.  i am teaching him that he is not the boss, and i am.  i am teaching him that even though it doesn't seem like it, mommy does know best.  and i know in teaching him these things now, i will save myself years of strife, years of fights and rebellion, because he will understand that he doesn't make the rules, but i do.  and i make the rules because i only want what is best for him... and so i again in my sternest voice tell him "no." and when he chooses to ignore it, i again have to say, "no" and slap his little hand.  this may or may not cause tears.  it is sometimes followed by another attempt, and subsequently another slap on the hand.  and sometimes it is followed by a look of seriousness on his face, like maybe he understands. 

and i know there will be much harder things to come.  i know there will be more times i have to tell him "no", more times i have to slap his hand, or ground him, or keep him from playing with that friend who makes his attitude suck.  i will have to take away his favorite toy, i will have to sit him in the corner, i will have to talk to him over and over and over again... and i will have to remind myself, that this is a mean to an end.  that in disciplining him i am really helping him.  that in disciplining him i am making him a stronger, better, person to be.  i am doing this because it is what will make him into the best him he can be.

so i will continue to discipline him, now and as long as i can, so that someday, while he may be able to blame me for lots of other things in his life, he will not be able to say that i let him do whatever he wanted and that i didn't teach him boundaries enough.


  1. Anonymous22:15

    I get where you are coming from, I do, and I understand at 15 and being a guy that this may fall under the category of 'What do you know?' I can absolutely answer that with a firm 'nothing' so I will pose this as a question. Do you think unwittingly you are going to teach Asher to hit by slapping his hand? I ask because in elementary school I was on the receiving end of many smackdowns. After Connors' mother made him apologize in Mr. Vogel's office for hitting me Connor totally ratted her out stating you hit me and you never apologize. So after that whenever I was about to get clobbered I would try to ask quickly if they were hit by their parents. Got a lot of 'so what' and I still got hit but, I found out of 7 guys only 1, Kyle, had been disciplined in some physical form. Kyle's childhood trauma was a girl next door that bullied him relentlessly, so he in turn took it out on me. Oh, and you can blame your mother in law for me, I found you through her, and for some reason Blogger won't let me leave a comment under my Gmail account unless I sign up for a blog; a sure way to get my computer taken way again. So here's my info. Domenico

  2. Anonymous22:17

    Forgot to mention... you have a lovely family. Cute kid.


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