Discipline seems to be the forbidden word of our day! Some people loath discipline; others like the idea but don’t practice it. Some people just like to talk about it because they think it makes them look good in the eyes of others. Those who actually practice and enjoy the benefits of spiritual discipline are sometimes labelled ‘old fashion’ or ‘out of touch.’
Many, including christians today, have turned deaf ears to the cry of Job: “behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty” (Job 5:17, ESV).
Discipline in any shape or form has rich benefits that far outweigh present day superficiality of which Richard Foster, author of Celebration of discipline, writes:
Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary problem. The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.
Why are some christians abandoning the practice of spiritual discipline in favour of shallow, quick-fix life styles? Is it because they are being led to believe that discipline is only reserved for the super humans?
King Solomon said ”people who accepts discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray” (Proverbs 10:17; NLT).
According to Matthew 28:19-20, every christian is a disciple and we have all been commissioned by Jesus Christ to disciple nations. We are to “baptise them… and teach them to observe.”
In my opinion, teaching new believers how to meditate in the word of God; pray, fast, serve etc. is discipline! The key to overcoming most of the problems - adultery, fornication, gossip, backbiting, malice, greed etc. - that we have in churches today is to have disciples who are disciplined and therefore deep people!
The bible says “If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all” (Hebrews 12:8;NLT).