At the end of The Disciplined Life, author Richard S. Taylor gives a list of suggestions to becoming a disciplined person. After reading through the first seven, I compiled my own list to share with the teens tonight.
1. Keep focused (Luke 9:62; Song 2:15).
As you work at becoming a disciplined follower of Christ, you will face many distractions. Keep focused on what God has called you to do. You may not know his specific will at the moment, but you do know his general will about evangelism, purity, Bible study, fellowship, and prayer. Ask God for help and then make those things a priority in your day. Then determine what things in your life are getting in the way of accomplishing these goals and remove them.
2. Train your body (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
The way that we handle our body can be an indication of our discipline. This isn’t to say that all of us must look like an Olympic champion. But it is helpful to discipline our bodily habits as Paul points out. Giving in to our desires often leads to sin. Even though God has designed our bodies to desire certain things, it is important for us to become self-controlled. If we don’t control ourselves, something else will.
3. Work hard (Prov. 22:29).
When you are given a job, work at it until you are finished. This will develop in you a good work ethic which will be noticed by others. While being noticed is not your ultimate goal, your work ethic will bring glory to God by showing your employer what a disciplined Christian person is capable of accomplishing. This is not to say that you will become the greatest at your assignment, but when you work hard at your task, people will notice.
4. Make the best use of your time (Eph. 5:15-6; Col. 4:5; Rom. 8:28).
“Plan your work and work your plan” is a good motto for completing your daily tasks. God knew this when he inspired Paul to write the above verses. It is important that we be punctual and that we make the most of the time we are given. You might take a moment to consider how you used your time today. Did you use it well or waste it? In either event, you must learn to manage your time so that you can best serve the Lord and others each day. Note also that there will be some things that are out of your control. Take these in stride recognizing that God is in control of even these interruptons to your day.