Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,
rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Col 2:6-7)
School and University going youth are the target of many philosophies, ideologies, false prophets and cults. Jesus warns in Matt 7:15 – ‘watch out for false prophets’. Paul on the other hand calls upon you to ‘think of yourself with sober judgment’ (Rom 12:3) and to exercise the disciple’s discipline. Whether you have committed yourself to follow a great manifesto or a great master, this always requires discipline. Many dictionaries will define discipline as ‘the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.’ Discipline is more positive than that: in the Bible it refers to moral discipline – the strenuous cultivation of the righteous life, or simply “sobering”. It is therefore of great benefit to be in deliberate control of your direction with purpose and a clear goal. Without discipline, one staggers and sluggishly and stagnantly rotates around the same place, to staleness, or even to false teachings!
The word ‘disciple’ means a learner, or in the widest sense refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life; the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. The disciple needs discipline to successfully learn and live, to follow and reach the goal. The apostle Paul gives believers encouragement to exercise the disciples’ discipline when he speaks to Colossians that had received Christ Jesus as Lord:
- a) Walk in Him: Call upon Him in the morning and in the evening, meditate on Him constantly to make your practices conformable to His principles; think about and consult Him while in that valley of decision; when your conscience convicts you of straying or sin or indecency or money dealings, yield to the will of Christ your Lord – walk in Him.
- b) Rooted and built up in Him – He is your anchor without whom you will wander and get lost in the sea of the world; he is your foundation without whom your faith will collapse at the slightest wind of deception; he is your fertile soil, your source of water, minerals and nutrients without whom you will dry up and starve spiritually and die; he is your reference point from whom all your values spring.
- c) Abounding in thanksgiving – first and most importantly for the saving revelation of Christ as Lord and Savior, in whom you have put your faith; and then many other reasons for thanksgiving – numerous gifts if you care to count. Whether as a new or continuing student, or in political leadership, strategic management or just in our daily lives, the need for discipline cannot be overemphasized. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can give you the power to keep the focus.