January 6th, 2024
Discipline Through the Lens of Discipleship
Written by LifeWays’ Board President, Shanah Ahmadi
Many of us understand the concept of “disciple” to indicate a learner who follows an experienced teacher–or a master. The presence of discipleship is apparent in the spelling of discipline, and I think we can all see how, as experienced adults, we transfer our individual qualities (gestures, ideals, perspectives, etc.) to the children in our care–like a master to a disciple.
When we have this sort of understanding, we can sometimes fall into the trap of worrying if we are worthy of a child’s imitation. While mindfulness of our thoughts, feelings, and actions is useful, brooding over our imperfections can turn into egoism and stifle our ability to meet the children in the living moments that we share with them.
Indeed, it seems like too much worry builds a wall around our hearts and inhibits our actions, leaving us isolated in our minds. Here is a New Year’s resolution: to remain forgiving of ourselves and each other as we strive to discipline.
One quality I wish to gift
to the children bestowed to me–not my willingness or my grit,
though those help occasionally.Forgiveness is what I would grant,
if I could have my way
for the follies, the selfishness, the rants
that I dispel throughout the day.
When I allow myself the grace
to change as the sun lifts and sets,
it is simple to make way and spaceto forget another person’s regrets