1 Timothy 3:2-7 (NIV)
2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. - Paul (apostle, pharisee, church planter, servant, author, example)
Without this essential quality, all other gifts remain as dwarfs: they cannot grow. So discipline appears first on our list. BEFORE WE CAN CONQUER THE WORLD, WE MUST FIRST CONQUER THE SELF. - J. Oswald Sanders
This truly is a game changer. I've noticed it in my life and among my peers. Where discipline exists and has existed, a tendency for effectiveness and success follows. Whether business, social services, or even church, without discipline, no work will ever grow beyond an individual.
I think that's why it may be so hard to intentionally develop self discipline. We don't want it to grow beyond ourselves. And if we honestly look inside, at times, leaders find validation in others looking to them and only them. A disciplined leader will develop and lead other leaders, not just the people of his/her company. If this is truly the case, an effective leader eventually works him/herself out of a job.
Similarly, it's ironic how discipline can exist at a work place, but not in the home place. Whether personal or with family, if effectiveness and success follow discipline at work, would the same not be true at home? Discipline in finances yields savings, better succession planning, vacation planning, and retirement planning. All excellent and valuable things, in light of our current realities. Discipline in time with spouse and children will all lead to deeper and more intimate relationships = meaningful homes. Discipline in time with God develops more of Christ in one's self and less of self in one's self.
Discipline. The best athletes are the best because they were more disciplined than the rest. The best businesses are the best, because they are more disciplined. Churches, small or large, are the best because of their disciplined practices to serve and disciple.
Discipline, the road less traveled.