Saturday, June 4, 2011

Discipine and Delight

Delight must be pursued through the process of discipline.

Or in other words, discipline facilitates delight. Discipline helps me create a well-ordered heart so I can love Jesus well. And I think that's what's really central to this whole idea. Discipline continually prepares my heart for worship.

My life can look really good on the outside, and my heart can be a mess. I can be disciplined - going through the motions, checking off Bible reading and church attendance, and my heart can be dead. Or there are times when I can be super excited about God, but experiencing no real growth because the excitement is emotional and ungrounded. Real, sustainable growth requires both discipline and delight.

About five months ago, I put down a tile floor in our house. It's the self-stick tile, so it wasn't that complicated, but I was proud of tackling my first major home improvement project on my own. Recently, some of the tiles in the bathroom have been pushing up, and we've noticed a little water on the floor after showering. Though I caulked and everything was theoretically sealed, water would seep through some of the tiles. Over the past month, we've taken extra care to avoid dripping water and cleaning it up. The water stopped seeping through and everything seemed okay.

Today I went to glue down the tiles that hadn't stuck well, and realized the whole bathroom area floor was soaked. Mold was growing, and none of the tiles were usable. From the outside, it still looked fine. There were a few flaws, a few tiles that appeared to need minor damage control, and a small problem that needed extra care, but nothing indicated a huge problem. And yet it's the inside that counts. I don't know how we hadn't smelled it yet, but once the water and mold was fully revealed, there was no denying the issue. Minor touchups were no longer on the table. Full force replacement was now necessary.

My heart can be the same way. My life can look pretty good on the outside, but once you get past the minor exterior damage, nothing short of full restoration can satisfy.

Discipline is a process that allows good maintenance. It makes me aware of the issues that need to be addressed in my heart before they come spilling out and damaging everything I'm involved in. This isn't to say by practicing the disciplines I fix myself, but rather, I am intentionally and regularly presenting and surrendering myself to God, expecting Him to be at work in me.

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