Why is “discipline” not a negative but a positive thing?
- Discipline sounds like a negative thing. The word makes us think of waking up at 5 a.m., endless pushups, or spankings. These hardly sound appealing!
- Yet only the proud person believes he or she is perfect. Humility causes us to realize that we are not finished products. We may need inspiration or healing. We may need to be corrected, challenged, or even broken. In other words, all of us need discipline.
- Much discipline is positive or formative: the stake that helps the tree grow upright, the extra set of wheels on the bicycle, the musician’s endless hours of practice.
- Discipline gives shape and direction to our growth, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. Anything that teaches, trains, corrects, instructs, builds up, refines, purifies, assists, or improves is discipline.
- Challenge question: How well do you receive God’s discipline in your life, particularly through other people
(This material has been adapted from Mark Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, 168-169)