Monday, June 29, 2009


It’s the 40th anniversary of Disney’s epic movie, The Jungle Book. When my son was growing up, it was one of our fondest videos to watch together. We often walked around the house quoting our favorite lines.

When Mowgli (the man cub) runs away and Bagheera (the black panther) is trying to convince Col. Hati (elephant’s father) to look for him, Hati lines up his troops and instructs them in the art of military form. His trunk held high, he commands “Discipline!”

“Discipline!” became one of the most famous lines in our house. I used it often when I needed my son to buck up and get things done. The cuteness of it could soften the harshest commands.

Most children and adults do not like the word discipline. But it doesn’t have to be a negative word. Discipline can be freeing and it can bring good to people who practice it.

Recently, in the news, reports were out that health care and prevention can cost more than treating actual medical conditions. This is true only if the preventive care must entail detailed and closely monitored compliance from “un” disciplined patients.

People who practice preventive care and healthy lifestyles do not need programs to educate and motivate them.

I know. I have heart disease (unprovoked), diabetes (genetic), suffered years of surgery on my heart, cancer, broken bones, and a heart transplant four years ago. I am only 48 years old.

Before I got sick, I was a normal weight, never smoked, ate healthy, and exercised regularly at home and by enjoying outdoor activities.

Bad genes stole my health.

Now it takes me 20 hours a week minimum to keep my health in check. It’s a lot of work and discipline to monitor levels, take medications, refill prescriptions, make doctor appointments, have preventive testing and treatments, exercise enough, eat right, deal with insurance claims, nurses, billing, etc. But if I don’t do what it takes to stay on top of my health, I will suffer the repercussions of bad health and my lifestyle would be drastically inhibited.

By doing the right thing, I am free to enjoy my life after I get the maintenance part done. I have enough energy to enjoy the things I love to do and be there to help others who need a hand.

Health care starts with individual people. Denial and excuses don’t work. Doctors are not gods and aren’t there to fix everything for everyone.

It’s the same for Christians and their relationship with the Lord. Pastors are here to feed God’s people.

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15 KJV).

Pastors are not gods. They aren’t here to fix broken people or give answers to life’s problems. They are here to teach and feed and gather.

Christians are responsible to read the Word of God, pray, and study on their own. It takes discipline and will produce a fruitful, balanced, healthy life.

“Discipline!” your physical and spiritual health to live life the way God intended—in abundance and with joy.

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1 comment:

  1. Cindi: Great post! I'm thinking there's a devotional in here somewhere.