From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:
“M.Scott Peck,MD, a physician trained in psychiatry, has written two profound and insightful books, entitled respectively “The Road Less Traveled” and “The People of the Lie”. They each offer a very different paradigm for understanding the nature and functioning of evil in the world and how we may identify and respond to its presence in ourselves and in others around us. In “The Road Less Traveled”, Dr. Peck offers us a matrix for conceptualizing discipline. Dr. Peck identifies four elements of discipline. Applying these elements, I have identified Scriptures that corroborate the veracity- the validity and reliability- of Dr. Peck’s paradigm and are useful for helping us to know how to apply the meaning of the Scriptures to being disciplined.
The first element of discipline is Delaying of Gratification, or putting off what you want to do in favor of doing what you need to do. Since we disciples know our priorities, have received our marching orders and we are focused on the task at hand, a useful attribute is being able to put off our wants in favor of addressing our needs, our needs having been defined by the Word of our Master. Using the example of Abraham’s chief servant, we note in Genesis 24: 33, the following: “But when food was set before him to eat, he said, ‘I will not eat until I have told my business.'” Now, as has been noted previously, this man had just traveled halfway around the known world to a distant land. His hosts had seen to the needs of his camels, had extended the utmost in courtesy and welcome by bringing water so that the guests could wash their tired, dirty, aching feet and had laid out a feast for him and his companions. He can see the food. He can smell the food. He can almost taste it! Yet, the chief servant refused to eat until he had told his business. Moreover, he does not take the hospitality of the host for another 21 verses!, or only until he had been assured that Bethuel, Milcah and Laban would agree to allow Rebekah to go back with him to the land of Canaan and become Isaac’s wife.”