“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

Discipline signifies “the formation of one who places himself in school and under the direction of a master”. For us, Christ is our teacher and we desire to be guided by His teachings and His actions. We are called to be disciples of God. To live in a way that teaches everyone around us about Christ through our words, our actions, and our love.

Church discipline is vitally important to emanating Christ in our daily lives. The purpose of discipline in the Church is not to create a divide between the Church and sinners, or to exercise power in an unbiblical manner, it is the fulfillment of spiritual restoration of fallen Church members and the strengthening of the church as a whole to better glorify God.

Practicing discipline in our faith, even in small ways, prepares us to apply discipline in large ways. The same is true in every aspect of our lives. Disciplining the mind, body and soul will cultivate habits and routines that honor God. We can discipline the mind through prayer and spending time in God’s Word; discipline the body through movement, nourishment and rest; discipline the soul through solitude, sacrifice and silence.

Discipline leads to habits. Habits lead to consistency. Consistency leads to growth.

When we are able to wholly surrender to discipline in little things, when God asks big things of us, we are more able to make sacrifices for him. Although it may be difficult at the time, the fruits of our labor will prove to be abundant in our relationship with the Lord. If you are struggling with discipline in your life and your faith, try to offer up your sacrifice for a prayer intention.

As we pray for the ability to practice discipline in our daily lives, let us look to our Teacher, the perfect example of the fulfillment of discipline and restoration in the Church.

God, grant me the strength to embrace discipline, not as a burden but as a path to freedom. Help me to find joy in the small acts of self-control and to remember that each choice I make is an opportunity to reflect Your love and grace. Amen.