by Eddie Snipes

This content is part of a series.

Dare to be Disciplined (7 of 18)
Series: Simple Faith
Eddie Snipes

In 2005, a college player was taken in the first round of the NFL draft. This man had everything going for him - speed, talent, instincts. He had everything he needed to be an NFL star. He was so good at defense that he took down everyone in his path. He lacked one thing - discipline.
Unable to control his own behavior, legal troubles began to mount. He was finally suspended for an entire season and cut from the team that once had faith in his abilities. Another team took a big gamble and signed him in the midst of his suspension.
The skilled player once again had the opportunity most athletes only dream of. A new series of legal troubles led to another suspension. By the time the season ended, a player considered to be one of the most talented in the NFL had been suspended twenty-two out of twenty-eight games. Not one of his suspensions were related to his on-field performance. The lack of discipline caused this man to become his own worst enemy.
You have probably heard the word 'discipline' used in regards to the Christian walk. If not, you certainly have heard it used in other contexts. Athletes discipline themselves to train, eat right, and stay on course to reach their goal. A student must discipline themselves to study to make the grade. A soldier is disciplined to learn the art of war. Someone who is well disciplined is considered a high achiever.
In our spiritual lives, discipline plays a vital role just as it does in many other areas of life. Before we discuss what discipline is, let's look at what it is not.

What Discipline is Not.
Discipline is not what makes the Christian righteous. Nor is discipline equivalent to spiritual maturity. Nor is discipline the thing that produces faith in our lives - though many people treat it as such. Discipline also should not become a legalistic set of rules.
Legalism is to try to live by a set of rules in order to become righteous or to a ...

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