Freedom in Discipline

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7

Watching a well trained athlete is fascinating. Same with an extremely gifted musician, or brilliant mathematician. The ability to perform at high levels requires discipline and hard work. Spiritual growth requires discipline as well, though often times we think that it restricts freedom. We would do well to remember that discipline is the price of freedom.

Elton Trueblood writes, “We have not advanced very far in our spiritual lives if we have not encountered the basic paradox of freedom…that we are most free when we are bound. But not just any way of being bound will suffice; what matters is the character of our binding. The one who would be an athlete, but who is unwilling to discipline his body by regular exercise and abstinence, is not free to excel on the field of the track. His failure to train rigorously denies him the freedom to run with the desired speed and endurance. With one concerted voice, the giants of the devotional life apply the same principle to the whole of life: Discipline is the price of freedom.

Questions for reflection:

  1. What area(s) of your life are lacking discipline and preventing you from spiritual growth?

  2. Read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“Lord, help me daily to commit and discipline myself to the study of your Word that I might not sin against you. As a well-trained athlete, help me to be self-controlled and ever growing in the spiritual disciplines as I grow closer to you. Amen.”

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