Disciplined, Not Rigid
My family, my wife, my children, and my colleagues would say I’m a disciplined man. But they wouldn’t call me rigid and they wouldn’t call me a man who is so devoted to his disciplines that he starts to develop an edge and an intensity that makes him unapproachable because he is so disciplined, because he is so focused. I have learned to have some grace with myself.
For example, if we’re talking about the discipline of prayer and I get in the circumstance where I don’t really have personal time with the Lord during the day or a couple of days in a row, I don’t consider myself to be a failure, think I have to go back to the drawing boards, or that I need to be forgiven so-to-speak. Because I have a relationship with Christ, I go back to praying.
My failures in discipline do not impede me from in engaging in further discipline.
Keep Going through Failure
And so my failures in discipline do not impede me from in engaging in further discipline. There are a lot of men who will take some area they fail in and think: “Well, I failed in it; I can’t do that.” No. You just go back and you fail better and fail upward until that discipline starts to be more consistent in your life. We’re not talking about some sort of draconian self-discipline that makes you into a machine.
The other thing that I’ve found is that the disciplines kind of manage to feed each other. I’d say in all of this, I’ve learned to be self-forgiving and realize that I’m a sinner, I’m an imperfect man. I’m not striving for perfection but I am striving to please God, my Father.
- How Men Can Grow in Godliness (R. Kent Hughes)
- J. I. Packer’s Thoughts on Holiness (Sam Storms)
- 3 “Dos” of Fatherhood (R. Kent Hughes)