We live in a society that despises the D word. I received some of the harshest critique I ever received on a post where I used the D word. So what is this nasty word?
It’s the word Discipline!
If the mention of the word made you shudder in disgust, then for your own sake may I suggest you take a few steps to the right and look at the word from a different perspective. Knowing what the word really means and how to use it can change your life. Too often the word discipline and punishment are used interchangeably and therein lies part of the problem. When we hear the “D” word, we can see the finger being stabbed in our face, feel the switch being applied to the seat of knowledge or smell our own breath as we stand at time out in some remote corner of a room.
Punishment and Discipline are not the same word!
Punishment is being controlled
Discipline is being in control
Punishment is based on fear
Discipline is based on trust
Punishment is time out
Discipline is time put in.
Discipline is practice
Punishment is penalty
Look what the book of Proverbs say’s about discipline.
- A fool despises wisdom and discipline
- Do not despise the Lord’s discipline do not resent his rebuke
- He who hates correction will die
- Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
- The corrections of discipline are the way to life.
The earliest understanding of discipline was not about punishment but about instruction, study and order.
I love this from Webster’s Dictionary. Discipline is:
“..training that corrects, molds or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.” And who hasn’t watched a professional athlete or musician without wondering about the discipline that brought them to such a place of excellence.
Webster also defines discipline as:
a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order
b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior
And my favorite:
c: self control
Although punishment is sometimes used to enforce discipline, distaste for punishment should never allow us to banish the word discipline to the land of the “D” word. If we want to accomplish anything worthy in life, discipline will be part of the process.
In my book Fully Alive I confess that my weight loss and regaining my physical and spiritual health were a result of grace and discipline. My ability to make a living speaking and teaching is a greatly a result of discipline.
So what do you do with the “D” word.
1. Say it! Out loud! Right now! See that wasn’t so bad!
2. Embrace it!
3. Practice it!
4. Enjoy the benefits that come from living a disciplined life.
What do you think?