Discipline is a bad word in our culture today. Although, when surveyed, people will often say we need more discipline in our society, many of these same people actually work against it in the daily habits of their own lives, and in the lives of their children. Why? Because in our society discipline infers the values of self-control and self-denial, things we are loath to do as Americans. Discipline, like the habit of flossing, is for our own good, and, whether the good we seek is dietary, financial or time management, we need to recognize that our most important discipline need involves our spiritual lives.
Disciplining ourselves to actively develop basic spiritual habits is essential if we are serious about growing as followers of Messiah Yeshua.
According to the dictionary, discipline means “Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” In other words, discipline is an active pursuit toward personal development. The Hebrew word for discipline comes from lamad, to learn, from which we get the word disciple talmid: one who has learned, accustomed oneself, been trained. The word is often used as a challenge in Scripture to live out God’s Instructions.
God expects his people to learn of him and to actively accustom themselves to living their lives his way!
Paul states in Romans 12:2, “…do not be conformed to the standards of this world. Instead, keep letting yourself be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.” Don’t be spiritually passive about your spiritual disciplines. Live up to God’s expectation as a faithful talmid!
Forward for Messiah,
Rabbi & Director