The Value of Discipline

Recently I was reading an article on the value of discipline in achieving end goals. The article pointed out that discipline is not the end in itself, but plays a valuable part in forming consistent habits which help us achieve whatever level of the activity that we deem helpful to our end objectives.

There are long traditions of various spiritual disciplines across the spectrum of Christian faith. Undoubtedly various disciplines can be very helpful to us at times, particularly when we are in season with whatever it is we are doing.

Does the practice of a discipline sometimes replace the end itself as a goal? Are people sometimes judged (or do we judge ourselves) for how consistently we perform particular disciplines, forgetting that the end goal is a deeper relationship with our Father and a growing ability to live in Him?

How many things do we do, or are we encouraged to do, where the commitment to the activity becomes the important thing, rather than our relationship with our Father and one another?

On the other hand, are there particular disciplines or regular practices which we’ve found particularly helpful over time?