In my previous post, I explained how discipline can mean a set way to live. I am further expounding on this idea, using Scriptures as a guideline:
Proverbs 1:2 - a disciplined life is a life that follows what is right, just and fair; only a fool would despise disciplineThese verses in Proverbs deal with the repercussions of not having discipline. According to these verses, those who hate or reject discipline are classified as being fools, stupid. The consequences of those attitudes lead to self-hatred and even death. An easy way to explain this is this example - if I don't follow the discipline for driving my car (keep my eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, buckle my seat belt), I can die. If I reject the discipline for healthy living (eat right, exercise), there are many people who would say that I am stupid for not taking care of myself. My resulting poor quality of life could cause me to hate myself.
Proverbs 5:23 - the wicked die from lack of discipline
Proverbs 12:1 - whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates discipline is stupid
Proverbs 15:10 - whoever ignores discipline hates himself
Discipline is viewed primarily as a punishment rather than a way of life because people are naturally selfish. We would much rather deal with the consequences at a later date than to do the right thing now, if the right thing requires a disciplined life. Morals, absolutes, and a disciplined life are all regarded as being outdated. Billions of dollars are spent each year to assist us in avoiding the discipline (re: consequences) for our lack of discipline in our lives.
This worldly attitude has even permeated many churches. I dare say that the lack of discipline present in many of the churches is because too many Christians use God's grace as a way to absolve themselves from living a more disciplined life. It is true that God does forgive us when we sin, and God doesn't expect perfection. He knows our frailty better than we know it ourselves. Yet knowing that God will forgive us does not give us the right to abuse His grace. We are commanded to be good stewards of what God has given us. One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that life is a gift from God. More thoughts on this follow in part 3.