The most important message I picked up from today’s readings overall is discipline leads to peace.
My primary take-away from each of the passages was this:
- Genesis 23 & 24 – When we don’t know how to proceed in a matter, always pray for guidance and God will show us where to go and what to do.
- Matthew 12 – The evidence of faith in God is not in what we say but rather in what we do. The wisdom of God is not meant to be a checklist to be accomplished nor a hammer to beat us into submissions. It is a way we can follow to live closer to God and experience more of the joy and bounty he intends for us.
- Psalms 12 – The wicked will not triumph over the poor and needy, and God’s justice will prevail.
- Proverbs 12 – Exercising discipline over our thoughts, words, and deeds will bring us peace and great rewards.
Everyone who watched and enjoyed Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up knows that applying a little discipline can drastically change your life for the better. At the cosmic level, tidying up our house might seem of little significance. Maybe. Maybe not. I am a person who cannot think in a dirty house or write blog posts, create art, or do lesson planning with a sink full of dirty dishes. If there’s clutter in my house there’s clutter in my mind. This is not true of everyone, but it serves as a great metaphor for discipline, and Marie Kondo provides us with a convenient object lesson.
I am a person who lives by a calendar, lists, checklists, and a schedule. If I don’t plan my work, the work doesn’t get done; or worse, it gets done badly.
But organization is not the only way we can exert discipline over our thoughts and work. Many people have an internal critic who is continually yammering away inside their heads about what losers they are, how they’ll never amount to anything, nothing they ever do succeeds, etc., and so on. Most of the people I’ve talked to about this seem genuinely shocked when I suggest that they tell that internal voice to shut up, and then replace its yammering with positive, supportive self-talk.
One of the things I tell my high school students over and over again is this: “Your ears hear all the words that come out of your mouth and your brain believes them. Stop running yourself down with negative self talk and say something positive like, ‘I KNOW this project is going to be successful!”
There are a million other ways to apply discipline in your life. Try a new way of disciplining your thoughts each day and watch your life change for the better.
That’s what I got out of it. What did you get out of the readings today?
You can join the discussion in the comments, below; or you can join us in our private Facebook group that I set up specifically for sharing what we take-away from the readings each day.
If you haven’t gotten the FREE “Read the Bible in a Year” worksheet yet, you can download it here. It is not necessary for you to start on January 1st–you can start from the beginning on whatever date you get the worksheet. Join us!