1 Peter 5:6-11
“Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour.” vs. 8
The fact that the words “discipline” and “disciple” come from the same Latin root word, gives us some important clues about the nature of discipleship. Those who want to be disciples or followers of Jesus aren’t merely signing up to learn, but should expect to be disciplined in their approach to living. In this little verse from 1 Peter, the word “discipline” is used to translate a Greek word meaning “self-control” that is occasionally used to describe an athlete’s training process. For some of us, those who avoid discipline at all costs, this is a scary thought. As followers of Jesus, are we really expected to be like athletes in training and spend long hours practicing self-control? The answer of course is “yes” that is the expectation, and what makes it even harder is that we don’t have coaches or drill sergeants who will force us to do the work. At this point, faced with the knowledge that the discipline has to come from within, most of us would be inclined to give up. We don’t have the mental strength to control our passion for self-indulgence. But there is hope! The apostle Paul struggled with the same thoughts and he came to realize that self-control is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What we can’t do on our own, God does! And by God’s grace we can actually live the disciplined life of faith. It’s a daily struggle to be sure, but it can be done!
Thought for the Day: How much self-control do I have?