I don’t know about you, but, for me, the word discipline conjures up the idea of harsh rules or being punished.
The dictionary defines discipline as training – to act in accordance with rules (military discipline), instruction to train proper conduct or action, punishment inflicted by way of correction, to bring order and obedience by training and control. Yikes!
But I have learned that the biblical meaning of discipline is quite more reassuring!
The root word comes from the Latin, discipulus which means pupil. From that word comes disciple.
When we see the word disciple, it usually implies someone that followed Jesus. But a disciple is someone who follows and practices the teachings of his or her teacher or mentor.
I’ve heard it said that being a disciple is following something you love. So, being disciplined is adopting habits that you love. In the case of spiritual disciplines, it will be habits that will bring you closer to God and build what I call spiritual muscles in order to increase inner strength, to gain clarity, and listen to God’s direction. Doesn’t that inspire you to be disciplined?
As Christian Businesswomen, we have a distinct advantage in the marketplace to have God as our CEO. Meet with God each morning for strength, guidance, and direction. Talk to God just like you would with your other executives.
I say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. Perhaps, even before you talk to God, take a moment to be still and listen.
The Psalmist says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
This meditation can be in the form of simply stopping and taking some deep breaths, being mindful of God’s presence. It can mean taking a very short Bible passage and meditating on it, reading it over three or more times then stopping to see how the Word speaks to you. Or it could mean using a recorded, guided meditation to listen to.
Taking time to be still, creates space in your mind to clear out any negative or anxious thoughts and replace them with God’s peace. You will make room for a calmer mind and spirit. You will be able to listen to others and listen to God. Instead of reacting to what comes at you throughout the day, you will be able to respond in a positive way.
At the end of the day, give thanks for what you are grateful for big and small. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit to lead you through this reflection:
- Review the day and how you acted. How can I do more of what went well? Where did things not go well?
- Ask for healing, forgiveness, and help in what did not go well. Ask for wisdom to discern how to better handle such moments in the future.
- Pray about the next day. Imagine the things you will be doing and the people you will see. Ask God to show you how you can live tomorrow well.
When you take a few moments to perform these disciplines on a daily basis, you will manifest the fruits of the Spirit in your life and business: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
You will tap into the power of God’s presence through these spiritual disciplines, letting go of the impulse to stress and strive in exchange for allowing God to help you thrive.