A car in front of us the other night had a license plate that read DSCPLNE… It was not too hard to figure out the license tag actually conveyed a message of “discipline”. Brent and I pondered who might be driving the car. Was it a Navy SEAL or a personal trainer? Or was it a drill sergeant, or a successful businessman? There was no other indication on the car that clued us in to the identity of the driver.
Oh well, it didn’t matter whose hands gripped the wheel of that car; the message’s interpretation was left up to its innocent followers. I personally pondered this license plate – enough to be writing about it right now! It made me do a little research. Discipline is both a noun and a verb (OK, I know this is simple but stay with me). Webster’s says the following about the word discipline –
1. Training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. Punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
6. to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
7. to bring to a state of order and obedience by training andcontrol.
8. to punish or penalize in order to train and control; correct; chastise.
The bible has at least 48 references to the word discipline. Both the noun and verb form are referenced in the bible. A few of my favorites are:
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. Prov. 12:1
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11
No matter how you cut it, discipline is a good thing. Today so many of us have areas of our lives where we are not disciplined. Some that quickly come to my mind are eating habits, exercise habits, goal setting and follow through, prayer time…. all the way to timeliness, learning a new skill, practicing kindness and controlled communication, and giving priority to the people and purposes where we are each day and each season of our lives. The way I look at it, if we don’t have an area of discipline that we are working on, it be best to find one because there’s always an area where I lack knowledge, experience and skill, and lifetime learning and growing is a recipe for good health!
Do you have one area to work toward more discipline in your life today? Do you have a plan in the back of the journal entry or on your desk in your office? Is it something that you had on your goals for this year, but haven’t gotten to? I have a few areas that I am in the process of reviewing and reevaluating.