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Cause of Death: Lack of Discipline

Cause of Death: Lack of Discipline

By Sue Gebel

When you read an obituary, there may be a sentence: “She lost her battle with cancer after a courageous fight.” “He died due to complications of …” But when has lack of discipline ever been listed as a cause of death?

Proverbs 5:23 says, “He dies for lack of discipline and because of his great folly, he is led astray. What does this mean? Individuals with diabetes must watch their carbs and sugar intake; those with heart conditions not only have a special diet, but also a regiment of exercises prescribed by their doctors. To ignore their advice may have deadly consequences.

In Hebrews 12, the “Discipline” chapter, we are encouraged to run with endurance the race set before us (v1). In verse 6, “the Lord disciplines the one he loves.” Verse 10 states, “For they (earthly fathers) disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” God’s purpose for discipline is our sanctification – sharing His holiness.

Hebrews 12:11 says: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Discipline is defined as a branch of knowledge typically studied by one in higher education. Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends says, “Blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore, despise not the discipline of the Almighty.”

In these days of Covid-19, many of us may find ourselves working at home. How do you structure your day? Are you disciplined enough to focus on your job without being distracted by other household tasks calling your name? What are you learning during this time? Just as the new year is often a time for fresh starts, perhaps this is a time to “begin anew”.

Question for contemplation: Is there a spiritual discipline that you have neglected or has been missing in your life? What can you do to begin now?

Prayer: Father, thank you that you love us so much to discipline us. Give us teachable hearts that we may delight and walk in your ways. Amen.

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