SELF-DISCIPLINE: Travel on the Inside First
We Must travel on the inside before we can travel on the outside, because the journey of growth and success is first an internal one. The first person you lead is you – and you can’t lead effectively without self-discipline.
If only the Israelites had remembered this lesson! Numbers 33 provides a review of the entire exodus journey, from Egypt to Jordan. And, boy, was it ever a journey! Tons of manna. Far too much grumbling. And it lasted 40 years.
Why didn’t the Israelites get to the Promised Land more quickly? Not because it lay so far away; they could have made the trip in two weeks. The real reason boils down to preparation. The people simply weren’t ready for God’s blessing until 40 years after they began their trip.
How about you? How is your self-discipline? Plato said, “the first and best victory is to conquer self.” If you want to be a Servant Leader with self-discipline, follow these actions points:
1. Develop and follow your priorities. If you can determine what’s really a priority and release yourself from everything else, it will be much easier to follow through on what’s important.
2. Make a disciplined lifestyle your goal. Self-discipline can’t be a one-time event. It must become a lifestyle. Develop a routine in the areas crucial to your long-term growth and success.
3. Challenge your excuses. Challenge and eliminate any tendency you may have to make excuses.
4. Remove rewards until you finish the job. You may be in the habit of enjoying dessert before eating your vegetables.
5. Stay focused on results. Anytime you concentrate on the difficulty of the work instead of its results, you’re likely to become discouraged. Count the benefits of doing what’s right, and then dive in.
“21” Crucial Qualities of Christians: #18 – Self-Discipline
1 Cor. 9:24-27
I. The Quality Defined
a. 1 Cor. 9:25
II. The Palmist Prays for Self-Discipline
a. Psalm 119:1-16
III. Jesus Prepares to Start His Ministry
a. Luke 4:1-21
IV. Paul’s Advice
a. 1 Cor. 9:24-27
b. 1 Cor. 10:1-13, 23-24
a. 1 Cor. 9:25
Encourage the Encouragers!
1 Thess. 5:12-22
I. Ways to Encourage One Another
a. Heb. 13:5-6; 2 Chron. 35:1-2; Acts 14:21-22; Acts 15:41; Acts 18:23
b. Matt. 25:34-40; James 5:14; Jude 20-23
c. Deut. 1:38; Gal. 6:2; James 5:19-20; 1 John 3:16-18; 1 Pet. 2:17
II. We MUST Encourage One Another
a. 2 Cor. 11:28-29; 1 Cor. 12:15-16; Rom. 12:15-16
III. Barnabas: Son of Encouragement
a. Acts 4:35-37; Acts 11:21-24
b. Acts 4:37
c. Acts 4:37; Acts 5:1-2
d. Acts 11:22
e. Acts 11:23
f. Acts 11:24
g. Acts 11:24
h. Eph. 4:16; Matt. 10:41-42
SELF-DISCIPLINE: Samson Had It, Then Lost It
We must determine to lead our own lives well, before expecting anyone else to follow.
Samson seemed to begin his leadership journey as a very disciplined man. He could delay some gratification (although he always struggled with a weakness for women) and kept his Nazirite vow. As he grew older, it was as though he left the foundation of self-discipline and lustfully consumed whatever he wanted: food, women, drink, Philistines.
Discipline does not automatically make someone a leader, but no one can long remain a leader without it. More government leaders have failed from poor discipline than poor policies. More pastors have failed due to bad discipline than bad theology. More business leaders have sabotaged their careers from lack of discipline than by lack of cash flow.
Consider the following list of disciplines that followers want in a leader:
1. They want to see character in their leader.
2. They want to observe competence in their leader.
3. They want to witness compassion in their leader.
4. They want to sense commitment in their leader.
5. The want to feel connection to their leader.
6. They want to make a contribution with their leader.
7. They want to see contrition in their leader.
8. They want to join a cause with their leader.
9. They want to observe consistency in their leader.
10. They want to feel confidence in their leader.
11. They want to sense courage in their leader.
12. They want to spot convictions in their leader.
We must ask ourselves: Am I disciplined in these areas? If not, begin to build convictions there first!