How to build Christian self-discipline and motivation

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by iahm87, Dec 23, 2009.

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  1. iahm87

    iahm87 Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm struggling in this area. It's hard for me to do what I need to do consistently. I also spend too much time on the comp. I've bought many self-improvement products on this but I think God's telling me not to follow these things. I need to do it God's way. What are your advices and tips on this issue.
     
  2. David

    David Puritan Board Sophomore

    I know how you feel. This is something I struggle with too, especially the computer. Lately I struggle to read more than a chapter of the Bible a day, if at all.

    I think one thing that would help is accountability, although I keep putting it off.
     
  3. Tim

    Tim Puritan Board Graduate

    The very, very first thing to do would be to pray for this very problem.

    "Heavenly Father, please help me to seek you every day. Help me to have the discipline. Create in me the desire to do so."

    -----Added 12/23/2009 at 06:30:04 EST-----

    Obvious, I know. But I know I myself sometimes need to be reminded of the obvious.
     
  4. LeeJUk

    LeeJUk Puritan Board Junior

    1) Make a plan of reading / praying. I have a prayer list and I read a minimum of 4 chapters of NT per day.

    2) Look at your daily schedule and set aside 1 hour per day for this where your going to let nothing else distract you and your gonna switch off the computer and go through reading and prayer.

    3) 90% of the battle is taking your hand off the mouse & keyboard and opening the bible and reading. Once I do that I find the rest easy.

    4) It's God who works in us to will and to do his good pleasure, pray and confess the days you don't want to read and pray and ask for his help to do it, ask for him to give you the patience, strength and motivation to do it from the heart, he will not stay his hand I believe.


    Hope this helps,

    Regards

    Lee
     
  5. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Fast. Seriously. Fast.

    And, don't just skip meals and fill that time with more stuff. Fast and use the time to pray and read the Scriptures.
     
  6. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Thanks for asking this question. I struggle with sloth too.
     
  7. MMasztal

    MMasztal Puritan Board Sophomore

    Someone else had this problem too.

    Rom 6:15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    We all struggle with this. As has already been advised, pray and fast. It will help you order your priorities.
     
  8. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    and, if I might add with all due respect, throw away any "self-improvement" junk that you've bought. It is worthless and rubbish when compared to that which God has given you to grow by. I echo Lawrence's suggestion - fast and pray. Read the Word. Pray for wisdom and grace to persevere in making life changes. Studying the Word of God will NOT disappoint - and will enliven you to make better choices, adopt better patterns, and love Christ more fully than ANY secular or secular-influenced-but-Christian-in-name stuff that is on the market. Self-improvement tapes/books/videos, etc., all provide water - but it is a water that leaves one parched.
     
  9. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I struggle too.

    Adding to the sound advise already offered, I would mention that Christian motivation is not willpower-based but results from joy in the Good News.

    Titus 2:11-14... "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."

    Our training, self-control and zealousness for good works are wrapped up with the "grace of God" and the "blessed hope" we enjoy. I find ways to surround myself with reminders of the gospel. I stick favorite quotes and verses around my computer. Sometimes I play hymns. For me, this helps. It reminds me why I love God, not just what I'm supposed to be doing for him.
     
  10. iahm87

    iahm87 Puritan Board Freshman

    thanks guys to all the responses :)
     
  11. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    I used to struggle with this really bad, but by God's grace I'm now on the other side. There is hope! God is faithful!

    But I struggle with sloth in almost every other area of my life.

    ... I should get off the computer now...
     
  12. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    If you haven't already, GET MARRIED! Then have lots of children! :lol: There is nothing more motivated than a father of 6. (Except maybe the father of 8.)

    Seriously, one of the ways a 'help meet' helps is by giving you plenty of discipline and motivation.
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    One book that might help, The Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian life by Donald Whitney:

    Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life :: Donald S. Whitney :: Contemporary Authors :: Modern Authors :: Monergism Books :: Reformed Books and Resources for Christians


    In the end, of course, we must ask God for grace for what we do not want to do. The idea is offering yourself as a living sacrifice to God, denying yourself, suffering and being willing to suffer to obey your God.

    If you want a practical place to start, begin by structuring the sabbath.

    Ask God to help you set aside the ordinary things of the rest of the week (work and play) and focus on Him all day. Begin with quiet meditation in God's Word, attend Sunday School and corporate worship, have a quiet time and time of personal Bible reading. Allow yourself to do a work of mercy (e.g. have a needy person as a guest). Learn to make your food mostly in advance of the sabbath. Turn your computer and phone off all day.

    You will be amazed how developing the discipline there spills over into other things. While we can't presume on God, there is blessing in obedience.
     
  14. Claudiu

    Claudiu Puritan Board Junior


    This is pretty much the route I took a couple weeks ago, and its working. If you actually make a plan its easier to stick to. Also, I found that once I opened up the Bible I really didn't need anything else (like the computer). Once it became routine it would feel odd to have a day where I stepped out of routine (happens here and there).
     
  15. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    To be quite honest, it wasn't until I really prayed about this that I saw any serious change in my devotional life. For so long I was doing daily Scripture readings and reading other solid books but I felt like my heart was just going through the motions. It wasn't until I seriously started praying that the Lord really brought me to a deeper place. Pray that the Lord gives you a thirst and hunger for His Word! Pray that the Lord gives you a restlessness in your sin and apathy! Pray that He aids you in your prayer life and gives you zeal to continue in prayer! Pray that He gives you grace to be disciplined! Pray that He teaches you to love Him with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength! (Mark 12: 30) When we really love Him, we will naturally desire to spend more time with Him as He is our delight! And read the Psalms! :) Personally, I love going through the Psalms daily and really meditating on them! I often pray the Psalms themselves....Psalm 51 is a favorite!
     
  16. iahm87

    iahm87 Puritan Board Freshman

    That's interesting. Well I have been praying for this for a long time(on and off). But God hasn't given me the girl he has for me. I really want to get married, or at least meet my soulmate, because 2-3 years from now I will graduate.
     
  17. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The computer is not your enemy. It is a tool. It can be used to feed your mind or help destroy it. Stock it full of godly food and resources.
     
  18. VilnaGaon

    VilnaGaon Puritan Board Sophomore

    Amen!!! Very true; Prayer is the key that turns this lock.
     
  19. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    It helps, but I still struggle with it. This is a helpful thread. :up:
     
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