Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ
in Opelika

There are a couple of significant events that have taken place recently:  the conclusion of the Olympic Games and the beginning of school.

The Games were great –– from the more limited than usual pageantry of the opening and closing ceremonies to the athletes’ extraordinary performances. Whether you’re drawn to swimming, basketball, track and field, tennis, softball, golf or any of the other events, there was something for everyone. To me, the most inspiring thing of these or any Olympics is the remarkable level of commitment and discipline displayed by the athletes. The Games that are watched by us are over in just two and a half weeks, but they were the result of years, and in some cases, decades of intensive training.

That’s where school comes in. For most people, formal education involves close to two decades of their lives. There’s a fair amount of detail and repetition with just about any subject. Although teachers and instructors do their best to make it as interesting as possible, the truth is, learning requires hard work and discipline. Whether it’s the ABC’s, the multiplication table, human anatomy or the periodic table, diligence is the order of the day. We can’t fake or shortcut our way to knowing. In fact, these strategies will only get us into trouble. There is simply no substitute for rolling up our sleeves and going to work.

That brings us to following Jesus. A word that has fallen on hard times is the word disciple. Maybe that’s because it sounds dangerously like the word discipline. I’m convinced that at least part of our problem with discipline is we tend to look at it in a one-dimensional manner. We hear the word, and can think only about the uncomfortable immediate and nothing at all in regard to the joy and gratification that is the fruit of discipline. That is unfortunate. The Olympics provide our instant gratification culture with a powerful reminder of the reward for patience, hard work and perseverance. 

The world is full of casual followers of Jesus, don’t be afraid to be a disciple!     

“God will give to each person according to what he has done.’ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life” (Romans 2:6-7).

You can find more of Bruce’s writings at his website: