And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three Steps to the Disciplined Life . . . Not!!!


The other day my husband looked at me and said, “I can’t believe you’ve been so diligent with your writing. I’m amazed at how you’ve persevered with it.”

The reason he’s amazed is because he knows me so well.

We’ve been married for 28 years, and for most of those 28 years, he’s lived with the lazy, inept version of me.

The new, (somewhat) disciplined version is unusual.

I always wanted to be a disciplined person. Each year, I’d read the articles about how to become disciplined in three easy steps, and I’d try to do what they told me to do. But it never worked.

I was just too inept.

And I had the sneaky suspicion that those articles were written by people who were disciplined to begin with.

So what I’d like to do today is write a “Three Steps to the Disciplined Life for the Inept Person” post. Here goes:

Three Steps to the Disciplined Life for the Inept Person
  1. Decide what you want to do.
  2. Renew your mind whenever you don’t feel like doing it.
  3. Repeat as often as necessary until you feel like doing it.

It’s simple, but it works. Here’s why: It’s hard to drum up discipline when you don’t have it to drum up. Our only hope is to go to God for help.

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 that we’re transformed by the renewing of the mind, not by making a plan and sticking to it. That’s a comforting verse for all of us inept people. Change is possible.

But we need to do it God’s way. Paul says we’re transformed by the renewing of our minds. Not by making a plan. Not by drumming up our non-existent will power. And not by following three easy steps.

We’re changed by the renewing of our minds. God does the changing. We do the renewing of our minds. His truth is what changes us.

As an inept-by-nature person, my only hope for being disciplined is to keep renewing my mind in all the areas of my life where I’m undisciplined (which is about a hundred).

God will transform me, but not in an instant. At least not usually. Usually it takes about one journal’s worth of renewing my mind to see some real victory.

If you’re tired of being undisciplined in some area of your life, I want to encourage you. Go to your local bookstore. Buy a journal, and start renewing your mind.

Ask God to help you see that area of life from His point of view. Then search the Bible for some good Scripture. Write those verses in your journal. Carry your thoughts captive to the truth every day you don’t feel like doing whatever it is you want to do.

Write out your prayers. Truth journal. Do whatever you need to do to see that area of your life from God’s perspective. And then sit back (as you continue to renew your mind) and watch Him transform you.

And when it happens, write and tell me about it.

2 comments:

mmi said...

Thanks for the constant reminders....why do I keep trying to do it on my own? Exasperating.... Thanks again! Martha I.

Barb said...

Martha! I haven't seen you in forever! I agree - it's exasperating. I guess we have to focus on the little improvements. :) Miss you. Barb