The problem with most Christian men today is we lack discipline! Whether it’s reading our Bibles, praying, or just trying to keep our eyes to ourselves, we lack a “spiritual discipline.” In essence, we have become “spiritual sissies.”
“5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[b] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[c] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.” — 2 Peter 1:5-12
Take a moment and recall a time in your life when you were called a “sissy.” It might have been jumping over a creek, climbing a tree, or even sports. Someone challenged you by calling you a “sissy.” Much like myself, you probably have two memories. First, is that memory of accomplishment. The challenge was thrown, and you conquered it. The second, well, it’s of failure. It’s that memory that even still today, you wish you had one more opportunity to prove you’re not a “sissy.”
If God looked at you, do you think he’d see a lack of spiritual discipline? The Bible, His love story to us, is one big challenge and we often fall short. It shows in our personal lives, our marriages, as fathers, in church attendance, at work, in our accountability, and especially in discipleship. We have often lacked discipline when it comes to God’s word.
God’s word has all the answers to our worries, questions, and problems but we are looking everywhere else but His Word. Why? Because we have become lazy, complacent and disobedient to His word. We are a generation that has grown biblically illiterate.
So how do we fix it?
Well, I believe we fix it by beginning with 3- spiritual disciplines. If we claim to be a Christian, there are 3 things we should be doing daily.
First, read your Bible! EVERYDAY! I tell guys “Do not eat physically until you “eat” spiritually. Nothing will set your day off better than reading your Bible. Sit down with your Bible, a cup of your favorite morning beverage and start reading. Read a few verses or ready a couple of books. Whatever God leads you too. Keep a pen and paper handy to write down things you may want to look up later. Don’t spend time in a study; just read!
Then pray! Spend some time in prayer. Just open up to God about what’s on your heart. Talk with him just like He was right there. One of the great things about the apostles is that they had an opportunity to ask Jesus anything they wanted. You know what they asked? They asked, “Lord, teach us how to pray?” WOW. The apostle saw the change that happened to Jesus every time He prayed, and they wanted the same thing!
Lastly, learn to repent! Not to only ask for forgiveness, but repent. The word repent in the Greek is a military term that means “an about-face.” In other words, learn to walk away from your sins! Run the other direction from them. Don’t just ask for forgiveness but do your best never to return to them.
Spiritual discipline is not easy. But it is doable. Peter, in his second book, gives a great example of the Christian walk and how we should follow the virtues he points out. Read that section of verses and apply it to your life.
About the author: Jody Burkeen, the founder of Man Up God’s Way and Pastor of Ignite Church.