Discipline is daily.
I’m primarily referring to spiritual discipline.
I know the typical spiritual disciplines people consider are Bible reading and prayer. Some add stewardship, fellowship, fasting, solitude, gratitude, evangelism, and more.
These disciplines are not intended to be a rote exercise that is void of connection. They aren’t a list to check off every day. They are an invitation to engage. They have purpose. They cultivate and strengthen faith. They help us focus. The challenge us. They produce fruit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a)
Fruit of the Spirit is evidence of our faith. It’s produced through our discipline. It’s not produced by our discipline. It’s not something our effort is able to produce. But as we are disciplined in trusting God and yielding to him, our faith grows. And healthy fruit develops and shows up—perhaps more for others than for ourselves.
I sometimes take inventory of the fruit of my life in order to evaluate my faith and how to adjust my discipline. And sometimes I’m not very disciplined about taking inventory. But as I was recently praying through the fruit of the Spirit, asking God to reveal my weak areas, I thought I’d share with you. Ask yourself,
How has my love for others been lately? What about joy—is it forced or genuine? How well am I able to find peace even in the more chaotic moments of the day? Could my patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness grow? Is my self-control defined by what I want to control or do I yield to God’s guidance of what self-control should include? Does my faith show well to others and come from a healthy place? How do I need to adjust in order to grow today?
I don’t ask myself these questions every day, but I find the more often I ask them, the more frequently I notice areas of need throughout my routine. The more I’m willing to consider what needs to change, the more readily I hear God prompt or correct me.
And that’s discipline that I want to be daily.