Discipline: Not to be dreaded but celebrated
I was recently watching the What it Means to be Wesleyan DVD which is a presentation by Dr. Bud Bence that he gave at the Wesleyan headquarters. This presentation was designed to give an overview of what the Wesleyans believe, the history of the Wesleyan Church, and the rise of Methodism through the ministry of John Wesley. As I watching the video I was struck by this quote from Dr. Bence: “The Book of Discipline is not a book, it’s a pattern of living. Discipline is an awesome word for Wesleyans.”
So many hear the word discipline and think of the word punishment but in this case the word discipline is so much more than that. Discipline is a regimen that cultivates education, development, and conduct. The practice of the classical spiritual disciplines such as prayer, study, fasting, service, and worship bring our walk with Christ to depths that we would otherwise fail to realize. I hope that we are a people that desire more than superficial living and that we are people that want our Christian walk to be plunged into the depths through the continuous practice of discipline. It is through this discipline that our lives will flourish into the deep Christians that God desires.
Remember the words of Paul in I Corinthians 9:25; “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” We are running for an eternal prize and every effort that we put into gaining that prize it more than worth it. Each time we engage in the practice of spiritual disciplines it should not be met with dread but with celebration as we gain new depths in our walk with our Savior.