Clearly I need to work on remembering ALL of the Fruits of the Spirit. I have now added faithfulness and kindness and I double checked to make sure I included 9 of these Christ like qualities!!! Sorry if you printed already....updated on 3/6/12
Discipline seems to be the word of the week in my life. Maybe because the topic week 3 in my Brave Bible Study is discipline. Discipline is such a two edged sword...we all want it, have it down in certain areas of our lives, but in other areas it's well....lacking. I am really disciplined in some areas; having a daily quiet time, planning menus and cooking, getting dressed every day (as in not staying in my jammies all day). But there are areas where I am totally undisciplined; exercise, buying stuff I don't need, picking up my shoes off the living room floor (Brian calls the area by our coffee table, the shoe farm! He's so funny..ha ha).
It seems like as soon as I gain discipline in a few areas I struggle with, other areas fall apart. I wish I could just get it all together...once and for all. I think we all struggle with these feelings. No one has it all together...even the perfectionist you know. I can be a huge perfectionist in so many ways, but I think it's because I'm attempting to fill in the areas of my life where discipline is lacking.
I read this in my study today and had to share it with you...this totally spoke to me and gave me some relief and comfort.
What if on this earth we will never be completely disciplined in every area of our lives at the same time? And what if that's on purpose? A design element. A Creator component. An intentional decision by our God so that a holy dependence is require for us to mature toward each new place in discipline.
Maybe God allows my lack of discipline because it keeps me running to Him. His strength is the source by which I will grow into greater discipline. He makes me able to take the next brave step. Maybe if I woke up tomorrow completely disciplined, perfected even, I would think more about myself and my great accomplishment and less about God and how much I need Him.
I do not speak for God, and the Scriptures do not elaborate here, but what if a perfectly disciplined life was never God's intent? What if He intended holy dependence for life-long growth toward Himself?
In this study, Angela Thomas also gave 10 practical steps on how to begin creating more discipline in your life. She noted that she got this information from The Pillars of a Christian Character by John MacArthur.
- Start with the small things--do one thing that has been rewritten on your daily to do list over and over and over again. For me, this was putting my Christmas dishes away. I can tell you, that this was the first thing I did this morning after my quiet time and I fell SO much better!
- Get yourself organized-- Thank God I am very organized, but I do have a basket of papers in my office that needs to be dealt with today or tomorrow.
- Don't constantly seek to be entertain-- The fact is there are some things we just don't want to do, but it's got to be done. Turning off the tv during the day has completely transformed this area of my life. I will only allow myself to watch recorded programs after I've done what needs to be done!
- Be on Time--typically not my issue, but I know many people who run late all the time...it just stresses me out way too much to run late. (if you saw a silver CX9 zipping down the beltway yesterday morning that might have been me, running late to the Pediatrician appointment, so yes, it happens in my life, but I detest it)
- Keep your word--Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Matthew 5:37
- Do the most difficult (or dreaded) task first-- then it's finished and you can breath a sigh of relief
- Finish what you start--this can be tough for me. I tend to get lots of projects going in one day. Scrapbooking, laundry, cooking, blogging, editing photos and of course playing with and caring for Karsten. I think I need to learn to simplify my to do list each morning and not bite off so much.
- Accept Correction-- "He whos ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding." Proverbs 15:31-32
- Practice self denial---make Godly and wise choices even though you would rather do the fun or easy thing.
- Welcome responsibility--Grow up, make good decisions, and make a plan to live differently
Cultivating a Christ-like life, a huge part which is discipline, requires the fruit of the Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit's presence in my life there is no way I can begin to emulate Christ. My selfish desires will take over every time. I will want to sleep in instead of getting up early for a quiet time. I will have judgemental thoughts about someone instead of seeing them as Christ sees them.
The last section of Galatians 5 speaks of the power we have through the Holy Spirit. If you believe that Christ was crucified for your sins and then resurrected from death 3 days later and you also believe that He is the ONLY way to heaven then you are a Believer, a Christian. When you accept this as TRUTH you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This week's printable is the Fruits of the Spirit. Living out these characteristics in my life should be my daily to do list...with all of my chores at the bottom. So, I'm going to print this out and place it several places in my house (my bathroom mirror, my kitchen counter, my office, and maybe my car)
If you right click and save you should be able to print out a 4x6 or save it as your screen saver on your computer, or both!!!