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1 Corinthians 11:31-32

"But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we will not be condemned along with the world."

 

Importance of Self-Discipline

God allows us the opportunity to exercise self-discipline and avoid His judgment by watching-searchingly examining ourselves, detecting our shortcomings, and recognizing our own condition. Yet, if we fail to exercise discipline, He will not. As in the example of Jonah, He is faithful and will complete His purpose (Philippians 1:6). If we fall short, He will discipline and chasten us because He does not want to see us destroyed. God's purpose-our salvation-does not change. Again, the only variable is how much we choose to suffer before He accomplishes His purpose. We choose whether we will be humble or be humbled.

 

Often, we do not exercise self-discipline, because we are hiding from God's presence. This tendency makes striving to pray always, being in constant contact with God, which is the best way to accomplish effective self-examination, a challenge, in our daily life  By communicating with God before every decision, even before every thought (II Corinthians 10:5), we invite God into the situation, putting the spotlight of truth on our thinking and motivations-human nature's worst nightmare.

 

With God's presence through His Holy Spirit, we are able to recognize our shame and our helplessness before God, helping to create a stronger awareness of sin that we cannot easily evade by rationalizing it. When face to face with the holy God, we cannot easily say that our sin is only a little thing. Nor can we use others as examples, saying, "They are doing it, so what is the big deal?" With God there, right in front of us, all our excuses fail.

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