I went back to the gym after a long layoff. Today was day two of my comeback trail. It’s an adventure in self-discipline.
The lack of self-discipline can screw up anyone’s life. That’s particularly true of a Christian life. If we’re going to “make disciples” as Jesus told us to, we’re going to have to be disciples ourselves. You can’t lead someone into Christian disciplines if you aren’t practicing them yourself. The best you can do is to tell them what you think it should look like.
You might be a Christian who has gotten off the beaten path (spiritually speaking). Maybe you’re one who never even got onto that path. Don’t feel too badly about it. It happens to the best of us. The good news is, it’s not all that hard to get pointed in the right direction.
Have you gotten sick of yourself?
I finally got back to the gym because I was sick of my rotund self. I didn’t feel good, I didn’t look good, and I didn’t have any good excuse.
It’s the same with our Christian discipleship. My bet is, many of you are sick of your lack of true discipleship. Some of you probably don’t even know what it means to be a disciple of Christ. When you hear the word, disciple, you think of twelve guys that lived 2000 years ago. Those guys were the first, but they were never intended to be the last.
Just take baby steps for starters.
When I finally decided to turn things around weight-wise, I just took a couple of small steps. I packed my knapsack, drove to the gym, and got on an elliptical machine. It was that simple. An hour or so later, I’m done at the gym. Yet it impacts the rest of my day.
Getting back on track as an everyday disciple of Jesus is no different. It’s simple self-discipline. While there’s a lot that can be involved with living a Christian life, let me give you five simple things to try that can get you on the right track.
- Read a Bible passage before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Use a devotional guide to get you started (there are a lot of good ones out there).
- Start a prayer journal. After reading the Bible passage and looking over the devotional, say something to the Lord about it. It could be a comment, a question, or even a complaint. Write it down in your journal and mark the date. In time, you’ll look back and be amazed.
- Read a good, Christian book (maybe a classic that will challenge you).
- Talk to a Christian friend about the things the Lord is showing you.
These things are not the beginning and end of a life of discipleship. However, they’re good disciplines to help you back onto the path. The ball’s in your court.
You may not want to do any of these things. I didn’t want to get back to the gym either, but I’m glad I did.