This is the 6th blog in a 7-part series on Mentorship and deals with the fifth and final criterion of the five criteria needed to be a good mentee and a good mentor: our discipline to change.
Dear friends, God’s Holy Word exhorts us to have Biblical discipline. That same character quality is required to be a good mentor or mentee to others. The first four qualities are more of a mental mindset, whereas this criterion requires physical action. If we have Biblical discipline, then our actions reveal this quality. It is not black and white, “yes, I have Biblical discipline” or “no, I don’t have it.” It is a matter of degree – how much discipline focused on our spiritual growth do we have, as indicated by our daily actions.
I, for one, lack discipline in many areas. For example, exercise. I know that I “should” exercise every day, but most days, I don’t. When I am successful, it is usually because I have put myself under the care of a personal trainer. I think of it as “forced discipline.” I had the discipline to schedule a meeting with my trainer, and he is showing up at my doorstep at an agreed time, so I have to get up to do that thing that, left up to my own devices, I rarely do on my own. Another example is my daily quiet time. I know that it is critical to have one, but if it were not for you depending on me to post this blog daily, I might skip what I consider an essential part of my daily spiritual routine of connecting with Christ in a deep intimate way.
Here are some Scriptures that show us how important Biblical discipline is:
- Hebrews 12:11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
- Proverbs 25:28: “Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.”
- Proverbs 12:1: “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
- Proverbs 5:23: “For lack of discipline, they will die, led astray by their own great folly.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.”
- Proverbs 13:24: “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
- Proverbs 6:23: “For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.”
I hope that these scriptures inspire you and help you understand how important discipline is in our Christian walk. May God bless you as you seek to grow in discipline and in your walk with Christ.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO DETERMINE YOUR “DISCIPLINE TO CHANGE”—
- I have strong self-discipline and am willing to do what it takes to improve my performance. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- Others recognize my self-discipline and determination to improve myself and others. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- People see me as a person who has the discipline to make effective change. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- Those close to me know that I am disciplined and focused on growing myself to the next level. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
Total Score ___ (Max. 100 points)
Based on your score, what actions are you going to take to grow your discipline to change?
ACTION STEPS EXERCISE
If you find that you lack some discipline to change, make a list of actions to take that will help you. Perhaps you can ask a mentor, spiritual advisor, pastor, or friend to help you brainstorm such a list of actions.
SHARE YOUR INSIGHTS WITH CHRIST AND OTHERS
Share these with Christ Jesus in your next quiet time, and share these with an earthly mentor. If you don’t have a flesh-and-blood mentor, and you think you are too old to have one, think again. Maybe that is an action you can take: Get several mentors here on earth. If you don’t see Christ as your mentor, and this is a new insight for you, as it was for me as I wrote this, then perhaps you want to formally ask for your relationship with Christ to go to the “next level” and ask for Him, the Perfect Mentor, to start mentoring you. And if you are not having a daily quiet time, perhaps you want to start with that baby step.
CONCLUSION (repeated from ALL previous posts in this series)
Until we are in heaven, we will need mentors. And others will need us to mentor them. May we all mentor others with the same skills and abilities that Christ had. May we all be as coachable as mentees as Christ was. And may all of us have mentors, and mentor others, helping Christ’s ministry leaders finish well. Amen. I believe this is God’s will in each of our lives. What do you think? I would love to hear from you on this subject. Feel free to write to me at the address below and share your thoughts.
Your aspiring servant,
August 6, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. Note: For ease of reference, all scriptures quoted are from the NIV.
If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.