10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. Job 36.
In order to achieve any worthwhile goal in life takes discipline. It is commitment to the process to achieve mastery in one’s chosen profession. Whether the goal is to excel in athletics, arts, marriage, life itself takes discipline. It is that willingness to put in the time an effort, letting go all distractions, often sacrificing what one wants to do to become the best at one’s chosen profession.
My favorite martial arts actor, Bruce Lee (1940-1973) was hailed by many as the greatest martial artist of the 20th Century. Accolades such as this come at a price. Some would think he was naturally gifted. Some would ignorantly rationalize that because he’s Chinese, it’s “in his blood.” The truth of the matter is he overcame physical imperfection through years of rigorous training and study. He ate, slept, and breathed his art to emerge as what many consider “The Best”. As a result, he was able to perform feats such as onehanded pushups using two fingers, send a person flying backwards with a ounch originating one inch from the subject’s body, and we all well know of his flashing kicks and hand techniques, by viewing his exploits on the silver screen.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1Timothy 4.
I used Mr. Lee as an example of the benefits of discipline. It is the act of giving oneself entirely to one’s chosen profession in order to achieve its mastery. This dedication is not only conducive to achieve worldly aspirations, but is especially worthy if one is to obtain mastery as a disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ. Most people professing to be Christians have a distorted view of what makes for a true disciple of Christ. One important fact is a person is not instantly perfect upon receiving the Lord. But is to achieve perfection through the discipline (there I said it again) of giving oneself wholly to the Word of God, and allowing Christ to live his life through the disciple.
To say we are disciples of Christ simply means that we’re his students. Some of us may be preachers, some teachers, some evangelists, some may have gifts such as healing and miracles, but while we’re still on Earth, class in still in session.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he is instructing the young minister to meditate or saturate his mind with God’s Word; in giving himself entirely to the teachings of Jesus. In doing so, his hard work and study will be apparent not only to other Christians, but to the world at large.
Paul also admonishes him to take heed to his character. There are many professing Christians that have neither the mind, nor the character of Christ. I am by no means judging anyone, but if I use for an example of a yardstick, the Character of Christ, and measure another Christian’s life by Christ, and he or she comes up short, something truly is amiss, especially if someone is claiming to be a disciple for many years. In essence, there should be after all this time, some evidence of Christ in that person’s life.
Just occupying a seat on a pew in someone’s church does not make one a Christian, but that worthy title is reserved for those who have given themselves to the Lord, body, mind and spirit, willing to subject themselves to His Discipline.
Some may be more disciplined in certain areas of Christian development than others. For example you may have a monster prayer life, but your Bible study is lacking. It would be better to maintain your strengths and work harder on weaknesses. In Christ, everything is balanced.