The gift of self-discipline gives hope of enjoying good success in life. Jesus’ life reveals what biblical self-discipline and good success are. 2 Timothy 1:7 teaches us that the God gives to His people the power to live a self-disciplined life. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7, NLT)
The passionate follower of Christ desire of self-discipline is in all things to become like Jesus! “Sola Deo gloria!” Glory to God alone! When our motivation is pure, God can trust us with His power and blessings.
You must accept this gift, trusting God to empower you to make good decisions. Our lives are the results of many of our choices. We didn’t choose our parents, the environments we grew up in, the early education we received, etc. The difference of successful people is exercising self-discipline. Making good choices in life matters!
From 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, it’s important to Paul that parents model this to children. Children learn from their parents what self-discipline is and looks like. Parents help their children to live rewarding and fulfilling lives. Children love stories that model virtue. I recommend William Bennet’s Book of Virtues, filled with such stories.
(By the way, in 2003, Bennett owned up to a gambling problem. One of my topics later this week, “When you fall off a Horse!”)
Trust is a fruit of self-discipline in our lives. We trust ourselves and others trust us because we are trustworthy. When you trust yourself, you become confident and people develop a confidence in your trustworthiness. Self-discipline builds a strong foundation for a nation. “One of the most important lessons we can learn from an examination of economic life is that a nation’s well-being, as well as its ability to compete, is conditioned by a single, pervasive cultural characteristic: the level of trust inherent in the society.” (Trust: The Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity, Francis Fukuyama)
Self-discipline is the secret of power. Many people have had powerful experiences with God, but squandered His blessings through carelessness. Our passion becomes His will not ours. Our wills are transformed (sanctified) daily to become more like Jesus, discovering the life that God intended from the beginning for all of us; love and fellowship with Him and each other!
- It is saying to yourself, “I will seek the Lord first in the day.”
- Reading the Bible daily.
- Becoming a Contagious Christian.
- Using your Spiritual Gift for ministry
- Living a generous life.
Self-discipline looks like Daniel. “He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.” (Daniel 6:4–5, NLT)
Self-discipline looks like David, who served God’s purposes in his generation, by not quitting when he failed. ““For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, …” (Acts 13:36, NASB)
How to live a self-disciplined life and enjoy its benefits we’ll discuss more this week. But today, the important issue is to live “Sola Deo gloria!”
- Why do you desire a self-disciplined life?
- Who do you know that is a model of godly self-discipline for you?
- Where do you need to begin this year to live a self-disciplined life?
Peace and Joy in Christ!