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Patterns for Discipline

Posted by Joe Paris on

I’m just not a disciplined person.

We have all heard this comment before, and some of us might have even said these very words when trying to become a more organized and disciplined person. I imagine that with the start of the new year, some goals are being made to grow spiritually. People want to read their Bible more or possibly spend more time in prayer. Great intentions, but we often fall short of our goals.

So why is it so hard to be disciplined?

My honest answer: It’s not hard to be disciplined. We just don’t create patterns to make it happen. We have this image of disciplined people as people that just get up and naturally do what they are supposed to do, but that just isn’t the case. I have been around enough disciplined people to know they aren’t wired that way. They are managed that way. They create schedules that put them in the right spot at the right time to do the right things. By the way, this pattern isn’t a new one.

The Israelites did the same thing. They had patterns that kept them in check. Let me give you some examples from the Old Testament: 

  • The Israelites honored the Sabbath and did no work on that day.
  • The Israelites had traditions and symbols that encouraged them to remember the acts of God.
  • The Israelites had festivals to remind them of ways that God had moved in the past.
  • The Israelites had rules and regulations they were to follow. (Read Leviticus.)

In short, the Israelites weren’t naturally disciplined people, but they put in systems and patterns to help them stay connected to God.

So how does that translate to today? You need to put patterns in your life in 2021 to help you grow.

I spoke with a member of our church several years ago, and he explained his frustration about his lack of leadership to get his family plugged in at c|Life. This guy was so frustrated because their family couldn’t get into the habit of going to church. He explained that they would get up every Sunday, and something would inevitably come up. They were stuck in a rut, and he didn’t know what to do. I explained to him that his family had a bad pattern, and he needed a new one. So I suggested they set some guidelines and new patterns, one of those being that his family would join a c|Life Dream Team and serve on Sunday mornings. Now there was opportunity and accountability for them to be in church.

Fast forward a few months later, and this family was attending church more consistently. They family didn’t magically become disciplined overnight. They set new patterns and routines, and it changed the outcome.

So, what is it for you? What new patterns do you need to set? Might I suggest joining a Dream Team and serving on Sunday mornings? Or maybe you need to join a Community Group or one of our Bible studies. Whatever your next step is, I want to challenge you to set new patterns for 2021.

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