Discipline chases us our entire life. It is relentless. It doesn't sleep or rest. It is needed in just about every area of life. Whether it is relationships, exercise, work, etc... Discipline is needed. We are all raised with a certain degree of discipline in our lives. Our parents aimed to instill the most discipline that they could in our lives. For my parents, discipline wasn't something extremely high on the radar. They disciplined me a lot, sometimes more than other times. But the practice of discipline in my life was not something I fully embraced or longed to embrace. I don't want you to get the idea that I was raised without boundaries or raised to live a no holds barred type of life, but the practice of self discipline or discipline in and of itself was not something intentional in my life. So I had a lot of learning to do.
I thank the United States Coast Guard for showing me what discipline and self discipline looked like a little clearer. There were many people I observed that began make a big impression in my life. People who practiced discipline in their life. Bootcamp was one of the first places where this idea of discipline made the most impact. Man I hated bootcamp, but looking back at it now, it was an amazing time in my life. It's amazing sometimes why it is that God has us go through times and places that seem so terrible only to find that those times and places where what we needed the most.
Since then, Jesus has taken over in my training to better embrace discipline. I don't know anyone who lived out self discipline more than Jesus. I love that about Him. I crave that amount of discipline in my life. I am probably not the only one who feels the same way. So how do we begin to embrace discipline in our lives and make it real in our lives? Here is what has begun to work for me.
1. Believe that you were made for something bigger than yourself. When we begin to see our lives not just our own something amazing happens. When life becomes important because God's given you the capacity to be a blessing to someone else then things begin to change. I have always been a lover of the mission of God, but I have struggled with also being a lover of the mission of Carlos. When our mission is us, discipline has the potential to go right out the window. Finding a mission bigger than ours for someone bigger than us draws out the best of ourselves.
2. Love what God is doing in your life. No matter what may be going on in your life, good or not so good. What God is doing in your life is not a matter of good or bad. It is a matter of better. God is in the business of helping us be better human beings. Not for His sake. But totally for our sake. the Bible says that we are masterpieces, made by God to do good in the world (Ephesians 2:10). Love what God is doing in your life because you have the potential for tons of good in your world. Be disciplined enough to recognize that and make the changes in your life to work with God and not against Him. There may be things in your life that God has been trying to work on to help you improve. Discipline on your end will be needed.
However you look at it, discipline is tough work. But it produces an amazing outcome in every area of our lives and potentially in the lives of others as well.