From “Discipleship and Discipline”, by William H. Hicks, copyright March, 2005:

We come now to the fourth element of discipline, that is Balancing. Most of us have watched in rapt fascination the maneuvers of a gymnast on the balance beam or the grace of a figure skater moving across the ice. Key attributes of their ability to perform are nimbleness, staying upright, blending strength with flexibility and creativity. If you have ever participated in any athletic endeavor, you probably had to select the appropriate footwear essential to your ability to perform, whether the appropriate spikes on the track, baseball diamond or soccer field, or sneakers- flexible, soft-soled shoes- on the basketball or tennis court. Ever notice that if your shoes are tied too tight, your feet hurt, you can’t play well? Recall Jesus’ running discourse with the Pharisees who insisted on prioritizing their michmash, their rabbinical traditions, over the truth in the Word of God. These guys counted every speck of dill and cumin as they made their offerings to God, neglecting the weightier matters of the true Spirit of the Word. “Beware the leaven of the Pharisees!” Ever notice that if your shoes are tied too loosely, you lose the benefit of having them on, you can’t play well. There is no room in the disciple’s life for dabbling in sin, disobedience, and licentiousness. These evidence a lack of discipline. These examples convey a key concept of this fourth element of discipline: managing change in your life (balancing). Dr. Peck wrote that growth = change; there is no growth without pain/discomfort (“The Road Less Traveled”). Growth occurs only when one is already dedicated to the truth; honesty is the predicate to growth. God’s Word is the mirror that gives us a ‘truth’ picture of ourselves (James 1: 22 – 25). Richard Hooker wrote, “change is not made without discomfort, even from worse to better.” But we are encouraged to know that change is inevitable because God is sovereign. Since He is large and in charge, since He is in control of His universe and His will be(ing) done, it is our task to respond to the changes in our behavior that His sovereignty makes inevitable. “Thus, management of organizations (like households and churches), families and the management of ourselves requires a balance between change and continuity.”-Mark Mendenhall, J. Burton Frierson Professor of Business Leadership at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.”

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