Increase Your Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is an indispensable tool for my very busy lifestyle. More importantly, it’s a significant aspect of my life as a Christian. To me self-discipline entails four things:

  • Integrity: the ability to do what’s right, under any circumstances
  • Perseverance: the ability to be steadfast despite difficulty or delay in achieving success
  • Restraint: the ability to control one’s impulses
  • Endurance: the ability to finish what one has started


Here are my favorite verses about self-discipline from the Bible:  

  • Hebrews 12:11 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.
  •  Proverbs 25:28 – A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
  •  Timothy 1:7 – For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
  •  Proverbs 13:4 – The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.


The Bible discusses self-discipline in great length. This is because God wants each of us to develop an honorable character. He also wants us to lead lives that are set apart from the rest of the world, so that we may glorify Him by who we are and what we do.

Self-discipline is a virtue that is essential to living the life that God intends for you. His ways are higher than our ways, and His instructions are perfect. Obedience to these instructions, therefore, is our only path towards abundance–that is, abundant peace, abundant love, and abundant graces.

Self-discipline takes work to master. Much practice and mental conditioning need to be applied, as well as a great deal of emotional strength. But with prayer and perseverance, it can be mastered,. And, once mastered, self-discipline can yield great outcomes for your life.


Strategies I’ve used to strengthen my self-discipline

  • SET GOALS: I find that I gain more clarity about my goals when I write them down somewhere I can see them regularly, like my journal. There are big goals and micro goals. Goals are less intimidating when they are broken up into several mini-goals. If mini-goals are still too intimidating, break them up further into micro-goals. Here’s an examples:
    • Goal: Read the Bible.
      • mini-goal 1: Schedule a time to read the Bible daily (15 minutes) – If this is too difficult to fathom, then break it down into some micro-goals:
        • micro-goal 1: review my calendar
        • micro-goal 2: block off the times I usually have free time
      • mini-goal 2: Choose a chapter from the Bible to start with
        • micro-goal: Google “best chapters in the Bible for beginners”
      • mini-goal 3: Focus on selected chapter and read 1-5 verses every day.
        • micro-goal: if one to five verses a day still seems too much, break it down to 2-3 verses per day
  • FOCUS ON GOD: When you don’t feel like working hard toward your goals, or honoring your commitments, it’s usually because of these reasons:
    • You’re feeling unmotivated or lazy
    • You’ve been distracted by a more appealing activity

When this happens, say a prayer and shift your focus towards God. Think of the fact that everything you do is for Him and His glory. Hebrews 13:16 says Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

  • CHANGE THE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HEAD: Rising above your emotions and resisting the impulses of the flesh requires much prayer, will power and perseverance. It’s difficult but it’s not impossible. A good way to start is by changing the language in your mind. For example:
    • Instead of saying, “I’m overwhelmed” – tell yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13”
    • Instead of saying, “I don’t have the right skills for this” – tell yourself, “I am so blessed, and God’s grace is sufficient for me.”
    • Instead of saying, “I’ll just do this later” – tell yourself, “I am more than capable of doing this right now.”

When you’re not sure of what to say to counter the negative self-talk, use the “opposite trick” and tell yourself the exact opposite message of the one you’re troubled by.

  • BE PATIENT: Most people give up because they don’t see results right away, therefore they become discouraged. We live in a world that constantly wants instant gratification, quick fixes and fast results. No one wants to wait anymore. But the Lord teaches that we should be patient. The harvest season is always different from the planting season. No seed grows within a few days of planting, but with patience and proper care, what you sow will eventually bloom into something beautiful and fruitful. Trust in God’s timing, He is never inaccurate. Meanwhile, keep practicing your self-discipline, and keep persevering.

I’ll end this post with a quote: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12.


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