Tag: Discipline

Paul…Part 3

Three more qualities stand out as it relates to Paul’s leadership.

Confident: Paul’s confidence was not based on who he was, but Jesus and what Christ had done for Him.

Disciplined: Paul spoke about discipline to ensure the message of the gospel aligned perfectly with the example of his life.

Faithful: Christ considered Paul faithful. Although his past was an example of blasphemy, persecution, and violence toward the church, the Lord saw something greater.

Paul exemplifies many qualities needed for leadership. If we emulate them, God will use us in powerful ways to make a difference.

Balanced Godly Focus

A healthy physical and spiritual approach to life provides a benefit to extending life. The benefit of this extension on a spiritual level is eternal in nature.

Paul phrased it this way, “bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come” (1 Ti. 4:8).

Developing the habits for a godly life require at least three necessities: 1) constant nourishment in healthy and balanced teaching, 2) avoiding a worldly focus, and 3) discipline in godliness.

Reflection and Correction

Maintaining good physical health does not come easy. We need strong determination and discipline in areas of physical activity and healthy eating habits. Maintaining good spiritual health requires the same determination and application of discipline.

People need to see the message as well as hear it. How do we make this alignment possible?

Reflection: Each night, look back over the day and consider conversations, actions, attitudes, etc. Do they reflect what we want as an example of Christianity?

Correction:
Do not make excuses, make changes. Each day is a new opportunity to start fresh and work on the areas of our conversations, actions, attitudes, etc.

Courageous Leadership

Leaders need courage, but what does that mean?

We often think of courage as a quality or characteristic that people possess or develop. Some people have it and some do not.

However, courage is a decision to act bravely when you are scared to death. It is easy to say we have courage when everything operates smoothly, but what about in times of challenge, controversy, or conflict?

It takes courage to stand against the influences of false teaching, to address disciplinary matters, to stand for right decisions (even if unpopular or unaccepted by some), and do so with a gentleness and love that demonstrates concern for every individual.

Culture

Basically, culture involves common experiences within a definable group. Grunter and Whitaker have said, “The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.”

Consider the implications of this thought as it relates to the worst behavior tolerated by leadership. If the response of individuals within an organization emulates the lowest level of behavior tolerated by leaders, what cultural identity will characterize the organization? The church?

The result is contagious, discouraging, and destructive to our influence.

Growth and development are worth the effort to raise the level of behavior by the discipline needed to ensure a stronger culture.

Disciplined Leaders…Part 3

Discipline takes us into an area involving the direction of a leader’s personal conduct or behavior.

As challenging as self-discipline is for each of us, one of the most significant areas addresses developing new behaviors.

In order for an activity to become a habit, the general rule of thumb is that it takes 21 days.

When discipline is truly applied, the result becomes a lifestyle of new behaviors. This idea is more than a habit or second nature. It becomes “first-nature.”

The time needed to develop a lifestyle of discipline may vary from one person to another, but when it happens, leadership expands to a new level.

Disciplined Leaders…Part 2

The bigger picture of discipline focuses on the importance of understanding “self-discipline.” Scripture emphasizes the necessity of discipline. Paul spoke of fathers disciplining their children, God disciplining those whom He loves, and the need to discipline our own bodies.

Examining areas that shape the development of discipline in our lives, we find the need to challenge and eliminate excuses.

Whether we talk about leaders or followers, there is a great tendency to make excuses why we are not involved or accomplishing a task, “I would, but…”

We cannot allow excuses to hinder us from achieving the greatness God will accomplish through us.

Disciplined Leaders…Part 1

The concept of discipline is prevalent throughout the Bible.

The difference between the lifestyle of the world and Christianity is one of discipline.

The Christian life is built upon discipline, or as it is often identified, self-control. However, there is a difference in these two terms. While there are areas that overlap between them, discipline adds the practices and habits of life that lend to character development. Self-control is more specific to controlling self in the area of emotions and desires.

The challenge introduced here involves learning how to develop the kind of discipline that sets Christians apart from the rest of the world.

Biblical Resolution…Part 1

The Gospel of Matthew highlights Jesus instructing the disciples in what to do if a brother sins against you. He
said to “go to them in private.” Conflict could be more easily resolved if we took this approach.

Of course, Jesus continues with taking two or three witnesses, if they do not listen to you. However, the most powerful part is found at the end, “if they will not listen to the church.”

Imagine the power of an entire congregation on your doorstep to resolve the conflict.

His point is not about discipline, but about restoration. Let’s seek reconciliation.

Leading with Influence

We all have influence. John Maxwell claims we influence a minimum of four people everyday. Knowing this moves us to think about how we can influence others for the cause of Christ.

Our influence is either good or bad, for or against the Lord. If we knew that our words and actions would make the difference in someone’s eternity, would we think more first?

Proper influence is based on preparation. We must prepare our minds and discipline our lives to be the kind of influence that leads others to an eternal goal.

We need to focus on providing influence that changes lives for the Kingdom.