Melvyn Tan
October 14, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Being Disciplined Sets You Free

[blockquote source=”2 Thessalonians 3:6 (GWT)”]Brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we order you not to associate with any believer who doesn’t live a disciplined life and doesn’t follow the tradition you received from us.[/blockquote] We often associate “being disciplined” as a trait of a successful person.  We say that the […]

[blockquote source=”2 Thessalonians 3:6 (GWT)”]Brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we order you not to associate with any believer who doesn’t live a disciplined life and doesn’t follow the tradition you received from us.[/blockquote]

We often associate “being disciplined” as a trait of a successful person.  We say that the person is disciplined in doing what she has committed to do.  There is even a quote that said “successful people do all things that unsuccessful people won’t”.

I mean, we all admire those that are a lot more disciplined that we are, isn’t it?

But the question is, why?  Why do we admire people who are more disciplined than us?

Many of us grow us in an environment, where we think that being disciplined means:

  • it is hard work
  • it requires a lot of will power to stay on track
  • it means to give up the things that we like doing to do the things that we must be doing

In other words, it looks like being disciplined equals to lack of freedom.

Freedom is the ability to choose.  This, is probably God’s greatest gift for all mankind.  We can choose the path we want to take.  We can choose whether to pursue the purpose that God has given us.  We can choose our own goals.  We can even choose to deny God.

When we are disciplined, we are choosing to do the right thing.  The right thing does not mean the convenient thing.  It does not mean the easy thing.  It does not mean the thing every one is doing.  It simply is the right thing.

What is the right thing, you might ask.  What’s right for you may not be right for me, you’d say.  But when we speak about the right thing, we are referring to the principles that God has provided us.

And I’d narrow it down to just this one thing: love another.

So how do can we be ‘disciplined’ and to choose what is right?

You can only be disciplined and choose what is right when you are clear on what your purpose in life is.  What is your mission.  And when that mission is not just about you, that mission is bigger than you (or even your family), you’d find the attention, competencies, and the energy to work on it.

Do you have a mission statement in life?  What’s your mantra for seeing yourself through life?

I’ve worked with many individuals to help them craft their mission statement.  You need to note that crafting a mission statement takes time.  This is not a process you rush.  You will go through many versions of your mission statement before settling on one.  Over the course of five years, I have revised my mission statement three times.

If you are ready, then here are four guiding questions to help you identify your mission statement:

  1. What do you feel are your natural gifts, talents, and strengths?
  2. What things naturally energize, excite, motivate, and inspire you?
  3. What skills do you have that you perceive the world needs enough to pay you for?
  4. Have you had an experience where you felt something within you that assured you what was right and then prompted you to do it?

Dear God, I pray that we will be disciplined to choose to do the right thing today, and everyday.  In Jesus name, Amen.