January 10, 2017
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.
There are two kinds of people: those who receive advice and follow counsel and those who don’t. Today’s text speaks of “heeding discipline.” What is discipline? On the one hand there’s the concept of a “disciplined” person. On the other, we have a negative idea of the notion of someone “disciplining” us. It means we have done something wrong and are being penalized. In other words, we want to be DISCIPLINED but we don’t want to BE disciplined. I think that’s the problem. We have the wrong idea of what discipline means. We associate being disciplined with punishment. They are two different things. People who do not heed discipline will sooner or later endure the consequences of their decision in some form of penalty.
Take two letters out of the word discipline and we have the word, “disciple.” To become disciplined requires being discipled. In my way of thinking about it, being discipled is akin to being coached. Coaches teach us, model for us, train us, equip us, observe us, correct us, encourage us and so forth. In short, they disciple us in a discipline.
My first coaching experience came with third grade P.E. class, the dreadful hour when most male inferiority complexes begin. I will forever remember the way Coach Koontz taught us to shoot basketballs. By third grade, most of us had already developed ridiculously unorthodoxed, self-taught, spasmodically Michael Jordan imitated styles for our shots. If we couldn’t score real points at least we could get some “style” points. Into all that shot-making chaos Coach Koontz brought new discipline. He taught us the F.E.E.F. method.
F = Feet. First square your feet with the basket. E = Eyes. Focus your eyes on the basket, preferably the back of the rim. E = Elbow. Your elbow should be at a 90 degree angle with your forearm aligned with the basket. F = Flick. As the ball leaves your hands, flick your right wrist downward, following through to the bottom of the net. It required significant unlearning, lots of correction (aka coaching) and fair degree of repentance from our former flamboyance. Day after day of shooting with the F.E.E.F. method began to yield results. It even began to find its way onto the playground.
I will never forget F.E.E.F., and to this day I am able to crush my children in a game of H.O.R.S.E. every time. I’m doing my best to pass on the wisdom to them. Isn’t that how discipleship should work?
The other day we asked ourselves the question, “Am I teachable?” Today we ask a different but related question, “Am I coachable?”
Abba Father, thank you for not only giving us instruction but sending your Son to be our instructor. Would you help us to not only be discipled by his presence in our lives but to learn from him how to disciple others. Come Holy Spirit and give us a coachable spirit. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.
1. What keeps people from being coachable? Where do I struggle with being coachable? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being totally resistant and 10 being “I’m a coaches dream,” what is your coachability quotient?
2. What would happen if we began to look at becoming disciplined and being “corrected” as being “coached?” Might that change our receptivity?
3. Who might you unknowingly lead astray as a consequence of your unwillingness to be disciplined?
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.