One of the challenges to our discipleship is consistency. What I’ve seen happen in my own life, as well as in the lives of others, is that we start with good intentions, but lose our way because we get frustrated with our own inconsistency. We have a few good days, and then something happens to disrupt our routine. We don’t do things as we intended and we get frustrated and discouraged and throw our hands up and say, “Whats the use?! This just doesn’t work in my schedule.”
Ok, let me just call B.S. on this. I called B.S. on it in my own life a while back and it was freeing.
First of all, let’s have a reality check. Is this supposed to be easy? Did we expect that orienting our lives around our faith would be a cinch? If so, we’d see a whole bunch of authentically saintly people running around. But we don’t do we? It’s not easy. It’s work. It’s daily. It calls for tenacity and sacrifice. We need to recognize that.
Secondly, you don’t build consistency without discipline. You don’t get to enjoy the thrill of crossing the finish line if you don’t run the race. Discipline is the ultimate unlock to our spiritual progress. You don’t have control of many things– exactly how and when the Spirit moves, what you’re going through, what you’ve experienced (for good or ill) in your past.
But you can control yourself.
You can set your alarm for 30 minutes early. You can stay up 30 mins late. You can set the phone down and pick up your Bible and Prayer Book. You can choose to be kind. You can choose to serve. You. Can. Choose.
But this requires discipline. Here’s what the scriptures say about this:
“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.”– Hebrews 12:11
“But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” -Titus 1:8
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” -2 Timothy 1:7
If you want to build consistency in your discipleship, then embrace discipline. Begin to train yourself.
Start small and basic, but start. Today! Commit to saying your prayers, or reading your Bible, or serving someone, or just find something and make it your rule. “I’m going to pray for 10 mins a day.” Then do it. Like brushing your teeth, make it a routine. When you lose a day for some reason, don’t stress. Just pick right back up.
Get after it, friends.