Saturday, May 30, 2015

On Discipline

Lately I've realized that I like discipline. I get excited about routines, setting boundaries, fostering new habits, setting outlandish goals.  It's kinda weird. I don't necessarily enjoy the day to day institution of discipline but I know that it's a good thing. Discipline is like that friend that tells you what you don't want to hear but you really need to hear. You want to punch their teeth out at first but then a week or two later (when you realize they were right) you want to go give them a snotty hug of gratitude.

So yeah, discipline is like that friend. Pretty sweet.

Oh! And something that I was confused about for a very long time is the relationship between discipline and legalism. They aren't the same thing! But I thought they were. When you think about the concept of grace on a surface level it's easy to say "Who needs discipline? God loves me no matter what." True, he does but...The ironic thing is that the deeper I plunge into the overwhelming waters of grace, the more discipline becomes important to me. The more I see it as effective and necessary in my life. The more breathtakingly beautiful it becomes.

Richard Foster says it so well in his work, Celebration of Discipline:

God has given us the disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us...We must always remember that the path does not produce the change; it only places us where the change can occur. This is the path of disciplined grace.

So there you go. Discipline and grace are BFFs.

Discipline is a really an awesome thing. Try it.


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