Why is Discipline Important?

Why is Discipline Important?

Discipline is a word that many may frown upon. However, without it, there would be chaos in the world. Why is discipline important? That is a question this article will answer.

Why is Discipline Important?

If we desire to be our best, do our best, and live a fulfilling life, there is a price to pay. Although the Christian life is not easy, it is still the best life to lead. Self-discipline is the key to living such a life.

The reason life today, in general, is so chaotic is because of the lack of self-discipline. It is the reason why prisons are so full; students drop out of school because they are not disciplined enough to run the course. It is the reason individuals get into debt because they lack the discipline to avoid yielding to the temptation to covet more and more; they want something better, bigger, or just keeping up with the Jones, their neighbors.

Why is Discipline Important?

Self-discipline is vital to living the Christian life. Let’s look at Scriptural confirmation of this in 1 Cor. 9:24-27

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.

27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. NIV

The passage addresses the Christian life by using the metaphor of a race and that we should approach this race with the intention of winning because winning is the only way to obtain the prize. Therefore, we should live our lives in a way that we win the prize of eternal life, the crown that will “last forever” (vss. 24 & 25).

In light of this, we are not to live our lives aimlessly, but we are to fulfill His will and accomplish what He has promised us (vs. 26).

To accomplish the goal and win the prize, we must exercise self-control in all things, all aspects of our lives.

Why is self Discipline Necessary

Self-discipline is necessary because it is better for us to exercise discipline on ourselves than to be disciplined by somebody else, namely God. Additionally, God calls us to a life of holiness and discipline.

1 Peter 1:14-16

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” NIV

We must not allow the world to draw us back into the mold we used to be contained in, living in ignorance. Instead, we should be holy. Not that we should be sinless, but have a heart for God in that we desire to please Him, Why is Discipline Importantbe committed to Him, bringing everything into control, every desire by the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may live a godly life that is pleasing to Him.

Understand that we are confronted daily with a three-fold enemy, the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world system in which we live is opposed to the Christian life and the flesh—our naturalness and the desires that we have must be brought under control, or they enslave us (e.g., drugs, sex, and appetite).

Our sins are forgiven when we are born again and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, we are not removed from sin. Therefore, we can still be enticed by the things that war against our souls.

1 Peter 2:11 reads, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

Only the Holy Spirit can help us resist and bring the things that war against us under control and resist enslavement.

Understand that if we do not accept Jesus, we are enslaved by something—doubt, unbelief, or some desire that we would have to lie down to become a Christian.

The Consequences of Living an Undisciplined Life

The consequence of living an undisciplined life is indulgence. Individuals who live an undisciplined life will find themselves indulging in things that are not right or good or things that are good but are out of control. Excess of a good thing is a bad thing.

Additionally, we will defend our indulges, such as, “I just can’t help myself,” or “I don’t feel like it.” In a word, enslavement. Although we disagree with the enslavement of people, we enslave ourselves.

Our health is affected; for example, overindulging in food or overeating leads to ill health.

Why is Discipline Important? - Overindulgence

Indulgence leads to financial problems because we cannot resist buying things and spending more than our resources. The malls will become our second home, and we develop slothful-lazy habits, doing only what we have to get by, leading to bad habits and sloppiness. We become Reckless with our speech—saying things we should not say, talking about things we should not speak about, and making criticisms we should not make

An undisciplined life is a poor testimony. Therefore, we must be disciplined in all areas, including how much time we spend in God’s Word, our giving to God, and our prayer life.

What is Required to Live a Disciplined Life?

We must have a definite, realistic, and specific goal (e.g., to please God, a positive goal in life). Having a specific goal helps us to keep focused and allows us to stay on track. When the goal is achieved, it motivates us to achieve goals that are even more significant.

We must learn to Identify and detach. This exercise involves identifying the things that war against our souls and detaching ourselves from them. Scripture instructs us in 1 Peter 2:11,

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”

We must pursue discipline with diligence and be fully committed to discipline ourselves. Focus on the goal. We must not go by our feelings. There will be times when we don’t feel like disciplining ourselves, keeping ourselves in check. We may not feel like studying the Word, praying, or worshiping. However, focusing on the goal will aid us in maintaining our commitment, and we must be consistent.

Practicing self-denial is a good practice. Matthew 16:24 quotes Jesus as saying,

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Why is Discipline Important? - Matt. 6:24

We must not allow “self” to control our lives but allow the Spirit of God to control it. We must yield to the Spirit’s control. We have to deny ourselves whatever interferes with our relationship with God.

We must learn to say no and not yield to peer pressure when we know the choice before us is the wrong one.

We have to allow ourselves to fail. We are not perfect and will fail at times. However, when we do, we must ask for forgiveness and refocus on the goal.

What are the Rewards of a Disciplined Life?

When we lead a disciplined life, the rewards are multifaceted and include:

  • – A lifestyle that is orderly and more spiritual
  • – A sense of achievement
  • – Contributes to good health—less stress, worry, concern, and insecurities.
  • – More productive because we save time by living an orderly life
  • – It contributes to our personal, intimate relationship with God (loving His Word, sharing our testimony).

The greatest reward will be eternal life with the Lord. We must keep our eyes on the prize!

Amen

Questions, comments, concerns, or experiences living a disciplined life may be left below.

Blessings!

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Why is Discipline Important?”

  1. What a wonderful read! I love this disciplined life. However, I need more control over my mind. I aim sat not to eat too much aimlessly but forget the goal when I indulged in eating excessively.

    This learning from the holy bible inspires me.

    I dedicate to God to forgive me and help in disciplining my life. 

    You can clearly see the consequences of indiscipline in life everywhere humans. 

    Stress, anxiety, debt, too much accumulation of unnecessary material.

    Thank you for this invaluable post carrying the message from the Lord.

    1. Hi Anusuya, I’m happy to know that this post has inspired you regarding discipline in your life. I pray that you have much success in implementing what you have received.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Self discipline is something that can be a very difficult area to navigate, but we all know right from wrong and we have the gift of choice. We can choose how we live our lives, and the wrong decisions normally lead to unhappiness and regret, so it is always best to try and live the way God would want you to live in order to achieve happiness and contentment.

    As you say, sometimes it is so tempting to follow our feelings instead of our common sense. Do you have any advice for over eating and how to stop yourself? I think this is something everyone suffers from at one point or another, and food is often used for comfort and not hunger.

    1. Hi Michele – I agree, self discipline can be challenging. I approach overeating the same as with other temptations; seriously think about the consequences and pray earnestly for strength and the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome. Remember part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self control (Galatia 5:23 NIV) and it is the Holy Spirit that gives us the strength to exert self control.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. I personally am not a Christian but after reading that post I think I could apply the main message to other aspects of my life. The ability to self-discipline is an extremely important characteristic in life. It’s what allows you to succeed in life. I apply self-discipline in completing my studies and doing things like going to the gym. What inspired you to create this site? Is it a part of outreach? (I used to be Christian but then lost my faith years ago). 

    1. Hello Judah – Yes, Indeed, self-discipline is a very important characteristic in life. It can actually save our lives in many ways.

      This website is a part of outreach. It fulfills my desire to share the truth with the world. And I pray that your Christian faith in the Lord is revived. Amen.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Hi Nathaniel, thank you for sharing about the need to live a disciplined life. I have enjoyed the whole post and some questions have propped up as I read. Firstly, is self-discipline the same as self-control? Secondly, if I woke up and started whipping myself, would I call that self-disciplining? The second question is on the premise I have heard over time where some “Christian zealots” literally inflict pain on their bodies in the name of following Jesus Christ. What is your take on this practice?
    At the beginning of your blog you intimated that the Christian life was not easy, and yet, as you put it, it was still the best life to lead!! I have, on my part, not found the Christian life hard, but rather, it is the easiest and most fulfilling life. Once a man gets to learn who is his Creator, who is his Redeemer and Savior, and ultimately where is his final home, there is nothing on this world that will be attractive to the extent that he feels missing it.

    Finally, I request that to address some of the issues I have raised in your next post. Thank you very much for this post.

    1. Hello Hawumba – Although self-discipline and self-control are closely related, they are not the same. Self-control is being in control regardless of emotions, thoughts, or bodily sensations.

      Self-discipline is control over conscious decisions to do or not do. Self-discipline refers to the mind’s ability to govern the body.

      Self-discipline is concerned with conscious judgments about conduct. In contrast, self-control is concerned with emotions and the things we do reflexively to defend our bodies and egos whenever they are under attack.

      They both are necessary to enjoy a fruitful life in a relationship with Christ and our fellow citizens.

      As far as whipping yourself being self-disciplining, I have not seen anything in Scripture indicating that as part of following Christ. Therefore, I would consider that as extreme overzealousness.

      I agree that the Christian life is fulfilling. What I was referring to when I mentioned that it was hard is the adverse worldly forces that can come against us. We are advised in the Scriptures to overcome these forces. James 1:27 reads: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

      Accomplishing this can be more difficult for some than for others.

      Thanks for the questions and for commenting!

  5. I totally agree about discipline being a necessary part of life.  I grew up being disciplined and therefore am better able to appreciate, be grateful and show respect where it’s deserved.  Without discipline I wouldn’t know what I’d be looking at in life.  It’s a pity discipline is now frowned upon, I wonder often those people that frown upon it if they have even live in a “real” world.  I really wish it was like it used to be how much better would the crime rate be.

    1. Yes, Ruth, discipline is becoming a rare commodity these days. Self-righteousness has replaced self-discipline and self-control, and it is responsible for the high crime rate, among other things.

      When Christ returns, He will push the reset button!

      Thanks for commenting!

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