Sunday, January 16, 2011

Desire Performs the Marriage of Discipline and Grace

At the beginning of the year, most of us are pretty obsessed with discipline.

We want to discipline our bodies in the area of exercise and food intake.
We want to discipline our minds with books and educational activities.
We want to discipline our souls with prayer and time in the Word.

But, we fail. 
Every time we set a goal, we break it.

January 1st we're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with goals.
By January 9th our eyes are bright with tears
and our tails are between our legs.

When we get discouraged for breaking a goal,
it's harder to persevere.
Then, frustration and despair can cause us to just give up.

We forget about grace.
If we aim for 100% compliance to our goals, we will fail.
I started going to a naturalpathic doctor about a year ago,
to supplement the health care I am receiving from my traditional doctors.

Of course, there are a lot of supplements to take,
foods I shouldn't eat, things I should eat.

It could become a burden quickly.

With a chirpy attitude, my doctor told me she's shooting for about 80%.
She understands a woman's life  and removed
the burden of perfection women think they have to carry.

When I fail, I don't let myself go into a tailspin,
beating myself up for my failures.

We need to let discipline and grace walk side by side,
understanding by our nature, we will fail,
and by His nature, He will pick us up.

We set our goals for graceful discipline.
If you want to exercise three times a week,
and one week you only exercise two,
let yourself react with grace.
You'll get back on the horse sooner.

If you set your goals to eat healthier,
and you have eaten half of a bag of chips,
give yourself grace,
throw out the other half, and get back on the horse.

If you set your goals to read your Bible daily,
and miss a day,
give yourself grace,
and get back on the horse.
Self-condemnation and guilt will add to the loss.
If you react with grace, reminding yourself that you want to,
you will be more likely to find time later in the day,
and return to your faithful schedule the next morning.

With all important areas of discipline,
if we set rigid expections, it can become a have to.
We should be doing them because we want to.
Light the fire with desire.

If you desire to be disciplined,
and exercise grace when you fail,
it will increase your desire to be disciplined.

Desire  performs the marriage of discipline and grace.



  1. Very good advice. We often can be good about extending grace to others but neglect ourselves.

    Wallowing in defeat does no good, and only makes us feel bad. As you said, we beat ourselves up.

    Fortunately God has grace to spare! Thank you for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday.

  2. I've definitely been too rigid with myself. Great post. Thanks!

  3. Once again, this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you!

    So neat to see this post because it's pretty much exactly what I've been thinking about the last few days.

    So often, we feel like we're falling short in certain areas of our lives, so we "implement disciplines" sort of like we apply a band-aid to a wound. Far better to seek the Lord to change our desires from the inside out so that we can continue being conformed into His image--a lifelong journey with many bumps in the road along the way! But when He changes our hearts, the healing is so much more complete than when we "add another rule to the list"...

  4. Visiting from MOMS THE WORD...great advice; thanks so much for this timely reminder!

  5. Thank you!...and AMEN

  6. Thank you for such good advice. I have two goals: I want to read my Bible every day (I've missed 1 so far) and I want to read through the Bible in a year (or less). I heard on the radio if you read 3 chaps 1 day, 4 the next, 3 the next and so on you can read through the Bible by the beginning of December.

  7. You are a wise woman. :)


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