Among the young men in our independent fundamental Baptist churches there is one major attribute of leadership that is noticeably lacking. This attribute is DISCIPLINE! You may say, “Oh, I have discipline!” Then to you I would offer a “test of discipline”
HERE IS THE FIRST TEST!
How is your cleanliness? Teenager, is your room clean and clean consistently? College student is your dorm room consistently neat and tidy? Do you have junk stashed under your bed or in your drawers to hide it from plain view? These represent lapses of discipline. It takes discipline to consistently put things back where they go and to keep an area clean despite a hectic schedule.
HERE IS THE SECOND TEST!
How is your budgeting? Do you keep track of how much you spend and where you spend it? Proverbs 27:23 says, “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.” Do you keep track of your income against your expenses and plan your spending accordingly? Here is the bigger question…DO YOU SPEND ACCORDING TO YOUR BUDGET? For many years, I kept a budget but did not abide by it. It looked good on paper but my spending was not so good in practice. I allowed myself to nickel and dime any extra money to death instead of saving it. This too is a lapse of discipline.
HERE IS THE THIRD TEST!
How are you at dieting? Approximately 45 million Americans are currently on a diet each year. Unfortunately, it is probably mostly the same 45 million each year. Why? Because of a lack of discipline. It takes discipline to limit portion sizes and eat the correct foods that pertain to your diet program.
HERE IS THE FOURTH TEST!
How are you at scheduling? A disciplined person limits themselves to what they are capable of accomplishing during the time that they have. A disciplined person will not chase after other tasks that arise while they are working on their scheduled task unless it is absolutely necessary. A person who is disciplined will wake up on time and go to bed on time. Working within the confines of one’s schedule is what allows for the constructive completion of tasks. Holding to a schedule takes discipline.
I dare say that if you honestly passed all four of these tests of discipline then you are a very disciplined person. However, unfortunately probably 99% of those reading this (author included) are failing in at least one of these areas. The lack of order in our lives is a signal of lacking discipline. It is time to bring it to order.
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” I Corinthians 14:40
God is definitely a huge Proponent of doing things with discipline and order. We are less effective as Christian young men then we should be because of the lack of discipline reflected in our lives. If we lived our lives by a sorted order; we would have the capacity to accomplish so much more for God. The time has come for every young man who is a Christian, and especially who aspire to be a man of God to do three big things in regards to discipline.
#1 Admit there is a lack of discipline.
Many who read this will allow their pride to blind them to their lack of discipline. However, failure to admit a problem exists will never fix the problem. Be honest with yourself. Is there a lack of discipline in your life? Pray and ask God if there is an area of your life where you lack discipline. As I have already stated most everyone, including myself, who reads this lacks in some form of discipline. The question will be whether or not we will admit it.
#2 Identify the lack of discipline.
Once you have swallowed your pride down far enough to admit that you do lack in discipline, then identify which area of your life you are lacking discipline in. Is it in the area of your scheduling, or budgeting? Maybe it is in cleanliness or dieting? Whatever the area is, identify it, pray about it, and begin working on it!
#3 Create a plan to develop discipline.
Once you have admitted there is a lack of discipline and identified where it is in your life, then create a plan for overcoming it. Do you feel like you are wasteful with your time? Sit down and write out a daily schedule starting with what time you will get up and ending with what time you will go to bed. Do you feel like your spending is out of control? Sit down and write out a budget and schedule for your spending. Allow that budget to control the purse-strings of your finances. If it is not budgeted, then don’t spend it.
America needs to see a generation of young men rise up who are disciplined and close to their God! America needs to see a generation of young men who can “bring it to order” in their lives.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley