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Section 4  - Let Your Light Shine Study #12  - Self-Discipline

Introduction: How many of us have had great dreams for how God was going to use us—how he would mold us into what he wanted us to be? Yet when the going got rough and the process became painful, we resisted—perhaps even took a couple of steps backward! Few of us are naturally disciplined; discipline must be learned. And yet without it, how do we suppose that we will take the —gospel into all the world? Surely this is fantasy! Discipline, therefore, must be built into our Christian lives from the earliest possible moment.

The Scriptures:

1 Timothy 4:7
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

Train yourself to be godly. Physical training (e.g. sports) is of limited value, but spiritual training is immeasurably valuable. The Christian life is a process of training in righteousness.

1. Laziness

Hebrews 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Do not become lazy. Laziness is a constant threat to the life of every Christian, young or old. Imitate those who are patient, faithful and disciplined. Look for good examples; learn from them. Realize laziness is a sin.

Suggested—Proverbs 12:1, 24:30-34, 26:13-16

2. Idleness

1 Thessalonians 4:11
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,

Be constructive members of society and of the church. Hard-working people win the respect of others. Try not to be dependent on anybody. Do not go into or remain in debt.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

Follow the example of disciplined people. Do not be a “busybody”—appearing busy, but not really achieving anything.

3. Discipline

Hebrews 12:11-12
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

No discipline seems pleasant, but it yields a more satisfying life. Make your life count!

Suggested—1 Corinthians 9:24-27, 2 Timothy 2:4-6, Hebrews 5:14

Practicals :
- Make a timetable of how you use your time. Get suggestions.
- Set goals.
- Spend time with a disciplined person and learn from him or her.
- If you are not a punctual person, make an effort to be early.

The Spiritual Exercise: Do one of the practical suggestions mentioned above, or read one of the recommended books.