8 Min Read

The Hard Pill To Swallow

Published on

June 17, 2024

Photo by danilo.alvesd on Unsplash

It’s a well-known fact that the most beneficial medicines often taste bitter, making them unpleasant to take. Yet, these small bitter doses can bring immense relief — showcasing God’s hidden wisdom. As Pastor Dami aptly pointed out in his 2023 teaching “Micro Level Strategy”, small, seemingly insignificant elements can profoundly impact larger outcomes, much like how a small, bitter medicine can bring significant relief.

Life’s reality is that the small yet powerful factor of discipline profoundly impacts every area of our lives. While discipline may be a difficult trait to cultivate, it holds immense potential and unlocks countless opportunities for growth, improvement, and success. Embracing discipline may be a challenging pill to swallow, but it yields a multitude of rewards and transformative outcomes.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. — Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)

The MSG translation reads –

“If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it — how shortsighted to refuse correction!”

This means acquiring knowledge and growing requires discipline, as it is an essential companion on the path to progress.

Discipline is the bridge that connects effort to achievement, and every growth milestone is preceded by a corresponding level of discipline.

In other words, discipline is the currency that purchases progress; without it, growth remains elusive. The depth of discipline determines the height of achievement, making it an indispensable element of personal and intellectual development.

Photo by Thao LEE on Unsplash

In Hebrews 12: 7–11, Apostle Paul discusses the discipline parents give their children and equates it with how God, our Heavenly Father, disciplines/corrects us — God’s ultimate correction tool is His WORD.

Verse 11 in the MSG translation reads:

At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off big-time, for it is the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

The emphasis is on the importance of training and discipline in spiritual matters to mature in one’s relationship with God. Spiritual growth and maturity are directly tied to the discipline and effort invested in nurturing one’s faith.

However, it’s important to recognise that this discipline isn’t solely based on personal willpower or forced spiritual practices. Rather, it’s a collaborative process with God, who works within us to shape us into the image of Christ (Philippians 2:13). When discipline comes from within, it empowers us to live intentionally and authentically, driven by a heart that seeks to honour God.

Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

Let’s quickly consider two areas of discipline:

Discipline in Fellowship

When we think of “fellowship,” we often associate it with two essential practices: engaging with the Word and Prayer. While these fundamentals may seem simple, they are incredibly powerful when combined. Pastor Nonso, in one of his teachings, noted that “mastery of the basics leads to mastery of major things”

However, achieving proficiency in these areas requires discipline, which is demonstrated by our consistent dedication to seeking God’s presence. By subjecting ourselves to the ministry of Word and prayer, we can gain control over our thoughts and cultivate a loving relationship with God that reflects in our actions and daily lifestyle.

Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

Discipline in Service

When it comes to serving with discipline, one thing is clear — genuine service comes from the heart. Whether we serve God or our community, discipline is essential to selfless service. No matter our past record of service, we can always increase our commitment and rely on God’s grace to empower us.

This reminds me of a story about a man who could only see when hidden in his source, but was blind when not. This paradox highlights his choice to stay hidden and see or to remain blind. What draws me to this man is how he has surrendered his identity to his source, living out Colossians 3:3, where our lives are hidden with Christ in God. His heart burns with discipline, a choice that fuels his service. Discipline is always within our control, subject to our decisions.

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

As you fix your gaze on Jesus in the coming months, you’ll be surprised at the remarkable growth you’ll experience by the end of the year.

This transformation will be fueled by discipline, which accelerates God’s work of growth in your life. Combine your focus on Jesus with the power of discipline, and you’ll unlock a depth of growth that will amaze you.

Cheers to your consistency. You are strengthened!

Blessing Ogunleye

Instagram / X (Twitter): @blezzzing_

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