For January 2011, I think it’s time to read through a book step by step. What book would be better than R. Kent Hughes’ “Disciplines of a Godly Man.” There are 18 chapters, covering the disciplines of:
So here is an overview of chapter one, “Discipline of Godliness”:
I learned that personal discipline is the indispensable key for accomplishing anything in life.
Hughes lists various people in history who had discipline, and that it showed. These spent hours to make themselves what they became through hours and hours of discipline.
I repeat … discipline is everything!
He focuses on 1 Timothy 4:7b;
γύμναζε δὲ σεαυτὸν πρὸςεὐσέβειαν
But (you must) push yourself for godliness
γύμναζε has connotations of good, hard exercise. Maybe “train” is a little easy on the mind, but you could easy replace the word for “work out”, “exercise” or “push hard”. “Strain towards” maybe?
I like how Hughes says we need to have spiritual sweat. Hebrews 12:1 is an example of this.
He ends the short chapter with two reasons for the book:
- “Disciplined Christian lives are the exception now the rule”. What is my motivation? It should be because I love God and so I want to please him.
- Men are probably more undisciplined than woman. He gives various evidence for this, but the bottom line is that most men need a kick up the backside.
It’s time to listen to Paul and push myself towards godliness.