A Big thanks to Scott Smith for allowing me to publish his articles here on Vigilant Wolf. Scott is past guest of Ever Vigilant podcast (listen here). Scott is a dynamic speaker who is passionate about men ascending into what God has called them to be.
Discipline - the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior that’s right. Discipline. The word we have come to despise here in the West. In this country of abundance, discipline has fled. Look around and see the product of excess. Obesity and diabetes are at an all time high. The latest generations seem to be physically weaker (as a whole) than the one before it.
The ability to make a living behind a computer, sitting at a desk, eating fast food has robbed a lot of men of discipline. Some eat too much. Some drink too much. Some pass the weeks and months away binging on Netflix, Cheetos and video games.
And don’t get me started on distraction. It’s literally everywhere. In fact, the invention of the “smart phone” has wrecked what little privacy we had left. It’s a lot easier to watch YouTube for 6 hours at night instead of read. It’s easier to check Facebook and Instagram in the morning than it is to get quiet, pray and spend time in the Word.
Living in the richest country in the world has driven up prices and expenses so high that we plunge ourselves headlong into debt. We lease cars because…well I’m gonna want a new one in a couple of years anyway. We run up credit cards because we can’t fathom actually waiting a year to buy something.
And I’m not just talking to you. I’m talking to ME.
Discipline, biblically, is an interesting subject. There is the discipline God disperses on His children. This is where mature believers have a chance to excel.
What do I mean by excel?
Because mature believers believe Hebrews 12:10-11:…but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Or how about the same book, the same chapter, verse 6?
For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.You see, God isn’t trying to make you happy. He’s working to make you HOLY. If He disciplines me, it’s fulfilling a scripture that tells me He loves me. If God isn’t disciplining you…it might be time to start asking some hard questions.
That was one form of discipline - God’s loving discipline for His children. There is another.
The other discipline I’m referring to is our personal discipline for ourselves. Remember the food and the Netflix and the beer and the debt? This is where we must exercise the concept called “self control”. Elders and Pastors are to be above reproach (2 Tim 1:7). We are to train our bodies as athletes to run the race we have been called to run (1 Cor 9:25-27). And we are to show self discipline as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives (Galations 5:22-23).
Can I be transparent for a minute here?
Can I be honest with you?
I look at the areas of my life where there is no discipline and I have to ask myself why. I have to go before God and ask why the fruit of the Spirit is not present in those areas. It’s convicting and it’s humbling.
Again, I’m not just talking TO you. I’m talking ABOUT me.
I need more self control when it comes to all things. Food, finances, patience, exercise, love, thinking of others….honestly, a lot of areas.
Let’s boil this down to why it matters. If we are to point people towards righteousness, we must walk in it. In order to do that, we must point out sin and why we need a savior. But according to Matthew we should be judged by the standard we judge others. Therefore, we MUST be above reproach. This does not mean we are perfect. It means we are not out of control in any area of our lives.
So here’s the deal, when you see me, ask me if I’m being disciplined in any area you wish. It’s one of the reasons I’m putting this out here.Let me a pose the question to you this way:
If we are limited in how much we can love others by how much love we can receive, and God disciplines those He loves…is self discipline directly related to how much we can love who we are…and therefore, how much we can love others?
I know that’s a mouthful. Read it again. Because this actual result of being a follower of Christ. That they will know us by our love for each other. If self discipline allows me to love others first and deeper, then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask me how I’m doing with it.
Because I can promise you this….I’m going to ask you.
Scott has laid out the explanations and Biblical foundations for each of the Three Pillars of Manhood. They will be released originally as blog posts. If you want to know more, subscribe and contact Scott through his website banishedfromeden.com/