Today’s Scripture Selection: Hebrews 12:11

“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.”

How disciplined are you?

I know there are more than a few times in my life when I wish I had been more disciplined than I was at the time.  And I have, in some cases, paid a high price for it.

But, painful or not, discipline does produce a “harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Is the scripture here speaking of discipline as in something externally imposed upon us or internally chosen?  I suspect the former.

But, I think the truth applies to self-discipline as well.

I know that it is especially true of spiritual disciplines.

  • Prayer
  • Biblical Study
  • Life marked by sacrificial service to others
  • Tithing and Stewardship
  • Worship
  • And any other ways you can think of to regularly show your devotion to God in a “disciplined” way

All these things are more than just a “painful” duty or a “cross” to bear.

I think they are a privilege and a wonderful way to grow deep in your faith and in your relationship with God and God’s people.

So – how disciplined are you?

I hope you can say that you are at least working on it.

The rewards are too numerous to list.

Prayer: Lord, by your Spirit at work in my life; help me to become an ever more disciplined follower of the Way.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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