Life through, the Theotokos

Mary consoles, Eve.

What a striking image (which is copyrighted to the Sr Grace Remington, OCSO © 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey). Mary, obedient, humble, submissive to the Lord, consoles Eve who was not those things. Through the actions of one came death. Through the actions of the other came life everlasting, and reconciliation. We all have free will but we must keep in mind that there is a price to pay for making the wrong choice. Even, Eve could not escape the consequences of her actions.

Discipline is as difficult to give as it is to receive. My sister’s dog is almost two and has begun puppy training classes. She acts as though she is trying to figure out what she did wrong to deserve such heinous treatment. How many times have we wondered what we have done to receive discipline from God?

The other night, I was watching AFV. There was a video of a dog who would not put down the tennis ball in his mouth in order to receive a treat from his master. If you look at the tennis ball as our sins, and the treat as blessings from God, it is easy to see how much we miss out on when we refuse to let go of our sins.

Hebrews 12:11 ESV

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

How can we ‘level up’ to a more mature idea of the fruits of discipline? I think a better understanding of why God disciplines us and why is a good start.

Revelation 3:19 ESV

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

Titus 1:8 ESV

But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.

I have never seen an example given in the bible where a person was rewarded for being undisciplined and rebellious. These two actions serve not our God; but the god of darkness.

As I have been on my journey toward being a better housewife, I am surprised at how much discipline it takes to be good at running a home. The women who make it look effortless are masters of their domain because they have first mastered themselves.

Work comes before pleasure. I always hated this as a child. It seemed like such a waste of life to spend it in activities one deemed unpleasant. Indulgent children think this way but adults must adjust their thinking if we are to accomplish anything in life. From making your room/home/car, etc., presentable…  to running a successful company, it all takes discipline.

My husband and I went for a drive into the mountains over the weekend. We had to pull over to adjust something inside the vehicle that was rattling. I practically had to wade through the trash on the side of the road that had been thrown out of the windows of passing cars or left behind by partiers. I wondered to myself how many of these litter bugs had lectured other people about the damage being done to the environment and yet were littering the landscape around them thinking that someone else would come along and clean up after them?

Is this the ‘fruit’ of the generation of kids who received participation trophies so that their feelings would not be hurt if they lost the game? What burdens have they carried? Have they ever been spanked, disciplined, told ‘no’? I’m sure on some level but evidently not enough to keep them from tearing up their world. How very much like Eve we have become.

From wearing a mask to protect those around you, to picking up after yourself, to running your home or office like a well oiled machine; discipline takes action. So many people today are living reactively.

1 Peter 4:7 ESV

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (emphasis in bold mine)

Be of good cheer. You can regain (or if you have never had it) obtain discipline. Begin by cleaning up your room, home, car, or desk/office at work.

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The world tries to tell us to ‘do you’. ‘Me’ is wicked, undisciplined, etc. From the moment the hippies of the 1960’s began the whole, ‘do what feels right’ the world has been turned upside down and inside out. Let’s go back to trying to be more like, Jesus and less like ourselves.

Undisciplined on the left, disciplined on the right.

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Ask yourself, ‘What is one thing I can do right now, today… to practice the art of discipline?’ Then DO IT.

Romans 16:17-18 ESV

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Please do your best to guard your hearts against lies from the enemy. Lies against a good life. Lies against; Christianity, the family, America, prosperity (according to God’s will and plan and not through theft or destruction of what other people have created.). The devil prowls around seeking whom he may destroy. Don’t make it easy for him. Be disciplined, vigilant, humble, and obedient.