I have been thinking a lot recently about grace and discipline. The topic has come up a few times, in the background, in conversations. Grace is getting great things we don’t deserve – the blessings we have, beauty and sunsets, people forgiving us, God’s love and sacrifice for us. Discipline is working hard for things – having a job, working out, and waking up to take my kids to school. Waking up sometimes takes serious discipline!
Grace and discipline are both important. God uses both to change our lives. Grace reminds us that we need God’s strength to carry on, and there are some things – like peace, forgiveness, and overcoming shame – that we can’t just “work” our way to. But we misunderstand grace if we think that it means we don’t have to respond to it. When I go to my parent’s house to eat (always a treat!), I don’t think that I paid for the food. But I still have to do the “work” to get the food into my mouth! Discipline is important in life too. We misunderstand discipline when we think that we can fix everything and look down on those who have not fixed their own lives.
This is all expressed perfectly, of course, by Jesus – if we are listening. Jesus invited people (grace) to follow Him and become fishers of men and women (which would take discipline). Jesus said that those who follow Him would find rest for their souls (grace), and also that they had to deny themselves to follow Him (discipline). Grace and discipline work together.
Grace and discipline – which one do you need more of in your life?