An Active Faith

When we think of discipline, we think of someone in trouble. But it’s more than that. 

Discipline is training. 

As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline=Freedom.”

In the New Testament, the word is used with different meanings. Why? The Greek uses different words for discipline. 

In 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, Paul used a word that means to discipline by hardship. He was making himself uncomfortable to do his job better. 

Jobs are more manageable when trained. 

Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7 to “gymnazō” himself for godliness. Like a gymnasium, he was training to be godly. 

It takes self-discipline.

Which do you prefer to do in the morning, open social media or the Bible app? 

It takes willpower. 

God’s also training us. Life is basic training and specialist schools. 

“Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.”

1 Cor. 11:32

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4

The context for them is to chasten in the former and train up in the latter.

Hebrews 12:4-11 is why we’re training. 

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 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.”

God takes us as we are, but he doesn’t leave us there. Instead, he calls us up to a higher level. 

Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” (Rev 3:19)

The Bible’s term is sanctification. 

Get trained as a disciple. Resist temptation. God provides a way out of temptation and empowers you to do it.

If you don’t think you can do it, I’ll step aside and let retired SEAL Jocko Willink talk to you from his book, Discipline Equals Freedom.

“If you don’t think you are disciplined: It is because you haven’t decided to be disciplined. YET. 

It is because you haven’t created it. YET. 

You haven’t become it. YET. 

So where does it come from? It comes from you. So make the decision. Make the commitment. Become the discipline—embrace its cold and relentless power. And it will make you better and stronger and smarter and faster and healthier than anything else. And most important: It will make you free.”

“Here is the reality: That idea isn’t going to execute itself. That book isn’t going to write itself. Those weights out in the gym—they aren’t going to move themselves.              

YOU HAVE TO DO IT. And you have to do it now. So stop thinking about it. Stop dreaming about it. Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it…  

Start doing it.        

Take that first step and Make It Happen. GET AFTER IT. Here and NOW.”

“People are not who you want them to be. Kill your idols. Sure there are things we can learn from people—but people aren’t going to be what you think they are—what they should be. People, even those people you have put up on a pedestal, are going to be faulted, weak, egomaniacal, condescending. They are going to be lazy, entitled, shortsighted. They will not be perfect. Far from it. That’s fine. Learn from their weaknesses. Of course: Learn from their strengths and mimic and copy them in what they do well. But equally as important: Learn from their faults.”

“Discipline your body. Free your mind. Get up early, and go. Get after it and you will become the person you want to be. And you become that person through:       

One. Small. Decision. At. A. Time.”

“So next time you are feeling weak or lazy or soft or emotional, tell those feelings they don’t get a vote. You are declaring martial law on your mind: MIND CONTROL. Impose what you want on your brain: DISCIPLINE. POWER. POSITIVITY. WILL. And use that Mind Control to move your life where you want it to be: stronger, faster, smarter, quicker, friendlier, more helpful, more driven.”

Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual

Discipline equals freedom. Christianity is an active faith. 

Get after it.


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