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Seeking Wisdom, Day 12 -Donning Discipline

February 15, 2016

The wise wear discipline, putting on layer after layer,until they have complete self control. So many lessons for living a good life come from the Bible. In this Lenten Season, we recognize the discipline of Jesus, totally obeying his Father, even up to the cross. God wants what is best for us in the circumstances we are in now.

There are many meanings of discipline – a systematic and rigorous training of the mental, moral and physical power by instruction and exercise – self control – a control over others- orderly conduct – punishment or chastisement – a branch of learning or knowledge – a system of rules – to drill or educate.

In Proverbs 12: 1 Solomon said,  “To learn, you must love discipline. It is stupid to hate correction.”  In Proverbs 13: 1 he continued, “A wise child accepts a parent’s discipline. A mocker refuses to listen to correction.”

How does one acquire discipline, and is self-discipline even necessary? Discipline begins as soon as the child is capable of behavior that might hurt him. It begins with the parents. My friend’s little son recently learned to get out of his crib. He can climb on the mattress’ bumper and throw his little legs over the rails, climb down, and leave the room, all by himself. How proud he must have been, but my friend was frightened. He could have fallen down the stairs, or perhaps gotten out of the house. She gave him a firm. “No!”, and then removed the bumper and put him back. If he does it again, she will repeat the instruction until he has learned the lesson. She will train the child the way he shall go, and he will not depart from it. There are many lessons to be learned if he is to be safe.

I know some parents who think everything their child does is so cute and smart that nothing he can do is wrong. They are raising little monsters who will never acquire discipline. I know others who use the firm “No!” so often that the word becomes the  the first word their child says. I remember a child who crawled around the living room saying no to all the furniture and the dog. Cute, but ineffective instruction. Teaching discipline is not easy, but well worth the effort. The newspapers are filled with stories of undisciplined children who bring grief to their parents. A disciplined child brings joy. Discipline must be installed in a person, for it is not automatic.

Self discipline is necessary in any skill I want to perfect. If I want to lose weight, I must discipline myself to the quantity of food I eat. If I want to be strong, I must exercise. If I want to be smart, I must read and listen to smart people. To become a better Christian, I need to pray often, read the Bible, and go to church. I want to better my writing skills, so I must write everyday. Acquiring self discipline is necessary, for I have long passed the age when parents and teachers will correct me or instruct me.

When we are wearing discipline, we can do anything. Enough said?

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