“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather train yourself to be godly.” 1 Timothy 4:7
It’s the word “train” that I’m focusing on or the phrase “train yourself to be godly.” I have come to appreciate word search. You have a word and then search out the general meaning, then go a little deeper to its original meaning and how it became a part of our daily vocabulary.
For example, the word “discipline” — as a kid when you mentioned discipline to me it meant something bad was coming my way in the form of correction or punishment, generally some restriction or painful strictness. So I had a very limited understanding of discipline and therefore anything that was associated with discipline, I stayed away from.
Today I know that is called ignorance, another great word search. In my life today the saying, “Discipline is not what I do to you but what I do for you” rings a little truer than it did when I was younger. I searched out “train,” as in the scripture reference in 1 Timothy 4:7. One scholar said the word translated from the original Greek into English gave us the word gymnasium.
Go back to “train yourself.”
In the dictionary you will find seven definitions for the word “discipline.” Only one deals with punishment; all the others deal with an activity to develop or improve a skill, a form of training. The effort of higher education is a form of discipline, like boxing or music.
Spiritual disciplines have a wide range of practice just like language and martial arts. One of the key lessons I learned in my spiritual development was “context,” the proper use of words or phrases in context of their true intended use.
I have a phrase I’ve been using for myself for a number of years: “Discipline yourself so others don’t have to.” I have found it’s better for everyone if I discipline myself.
I share this last quote with you: “Great accomplishments are generally accompanied by daily disciplines."