#5 Decline of self-discipline
As you might expect from Proverbs in the Bible, is this wisdom about self-control and discipline: ‘A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.’ Proverbs 25:28
Cities of that day had just about all their defense in the walls, you just need to read up about Nineveh and how arrogant they had become trusting in what they thought was an impenetrable wall around the city.
If you imagine a field and around it is a wall, at certain point part of that wall is attacked. The wall might get damaged and some repairs go up and the wall is back again. The attack can hit that same spot again, then again and again. Each time work is done to repair but the repairs are getting less and less and the strength and integrity on the wall is compromised. After time that wall has gone and the space has now been occupied, that section of land is no longer owned and the enemy can enter the field at any time whenever they want.
Imagine that field is you and me, our lives. Self-control keeps that perimeter up, of course we pray, accountability and meeting with other Christians too, but outside of those moments when you are at work or in private it’s the self discipline keeping it together.
When sin starts to hit that wall it can turn up in lots of ways. Subtle glances at the attractive women you know, or the channels late at night or the whispers of more money and power if the rules are moved a little. After time and without warning the walls have been breached and that section or area in your life is no longer surrendered to you. It rampages your field without invite and stays for as long as it likes.
I think self-discipline and control is like a muscle that we build, strengthen and notice. Ignored it wont grow but focused on and built up it will start to work, even when we don’t realise it. Kurt Hahn identified this as something g lacking in the society of his time in the young men of his time. Has it changed for us today? Had it changed for you personally today? As Christian men and brothers we can train together to build a core strength of a spiritual self-discipline. Where iron really does sharpen iron, maybe you’ve got a wall to reclaim!