Bad Things Happen When we Live Reactively
You know that horrifying feeling that accompanies the moment you realize you just made a HUGE mistake–a mistake that could have been prevented?
You’re sick with regret, but on top of it, you feel like an idiot. Your stomach sinks. A wave of nausea washes over you as your body slips into a state of shock. “No,” you whisper. Your voice gets louder, “No.”
You scream, “No! How could this have happened?!”
Yeah, I know that feeling. Just a couple weeks ago I lost about two chapters of my recently completed book. I didn’t have a backup. I felt like a complete moron.
I learned a hard lesson that day: Jesus saves. So should I. :)
But really, I learned that I need to quit living in a reactive mode and start taking a more proactive approach to my work and other areas of my life. Being busy is not an excuse for sloppy work and lazy filing.
Discipline = Proactive
In one of my discipleship groups, we are talking about the importance of spiritual disciplines.
In the same way that disciplines are important in our family life, relationships, and work (like backing up important files on a regular basis), spiritual disciplines are important in our relationship with God.
Spiritual disciplines aren’t necessary to have a relationship with God, but they enable us to grow and know Him more.
I recently heard someone say that there’s no such thing as maintaining in our relationship with God. (Really, there’s no such thing as maintaining in any area of our life.) We are either experiencing growth or backsliding.
Think about work. If you aren’t disciplined about managing emails, corresponding to clients, or, again, backing up files, your career will suffer. You definitely won’t be employee of the year.
Or consider your house. What happens if you aren’t disciplined about cleaning on a regular basis? You’re house will end up looking like my house!
Disciplines Bring Order to Chaos
The Second Law of Thermodynamics tells us about this thing called entropy–the tendency for the world to gravitate towards a state of disorder. Our relationship with God is certainly no exception. Without intentionality, there is no relationship.
Prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, and spending time in solitude might sound like boxes to be checked, but really these are spiritual disciplines, tools God has given us for bringing order to chaos.
I once heard someone say that oftentimes, discipline comes before desire.
Growth is a natural response to discipline and intentionality. And growth in any relationship usually begets desire to spend more time with that person. Spiritual disciplines might feel forced at first, but often they become the catalyst to the thing we want most.
In the case of my book, the thing I want most is for it to be finished and published. But I can’t have that desire if I don’t have the manuscript saved.
That’s why I’ve implemented some new disciplines into my week, not just with my work, but with God too. I’ve seen the power these tools hold, and I’m going to start wielding them to my advantage.
What about you? What spiritual discipline could you try implementing this week to help you experience growth in your relationship with God?