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Why Do We Need Help To Reach Our Full Potential?

Why Do We Need Help To Reach Our Full Potential?

The Need for Accountability

In recent years, I’ve come to realize that where I lack accountability, I soon exhibit a lack of discipline. It’s a sobering revelation, but I suspect I’m not alone in this experience. When I examine God’s commands for His people, I see a strong emphasis on unity and togetherness. Repeatedly, Scripture calls for people to operate not alone, but in pairs or groups intertwined.  

At one point, I believed this focus was solely about the joy of community or safeguarding against the enemy’s isolating work in our lives. While these are certainly true, I’ve come to understand an additional, vital aspect: the immense value of accountability. Living amongst fellow sojourners highlights areas where we might have deceived ourselves into thinking we’ve “arrived” as disciples. It’s easy to let discipline slip and stall our growth when you’re the only one evaluating your progress. The personal shortcuts and lies we tell ourselves are endless.

Discipleship Demands Discipline

Interestingly, the words “disciple” and “discipline” share the same Latin root, “discipulus,” meaning “student” or “learner.” This connection underscores an important truth: being a disciple inherently involves discipline. Therefore, the idea of an “undisciplined disciple” is an oxymoron. True discipleship requires ongoing training and self-control guided by accountability.

If you think there’s a point where you no longer need others to spur you on, to hold you accountable in order to grow as a disciple and maintain discipline, you’re deluding yourself. Even the world echoes this wisdom – observe the elites who have mastered their crafts. Tom Brady still has a quarterback coach. Boxing greats like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali had trainers. Serena Williams and Tiger Woods also have coaches. It may seem strange that those at the highest levels still need training and accountability, but it’s their humility in recognizing this perpetual need that ensures their greatness. The arrogance to believe we can grow without accountability breeds the same pride that precedes a fall.

Embrace The Identity

As Paul compares in 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Just as no elite athlete still trains alone, let us too embrace our identity as disciplined disciples. Let us establish discipline around the creative crafts our Creator has entrusted to us, moving forward steadily each day toward increasing mastery. For as Hebrews 12:11 reminds, “All discipline seems painful at the moment, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” While challenging, profound and lasting rewards await those who persevere.   

This perpetual need for discipline in God’s word was part of my motivation for the Five by the Fire Podcast. I knew I needed to engage with Scripture daily and extract its truths to spur my own growth as a disciplined disciple. This desire also sparked the Ordered Chaos Club blog – though the Five by the Fire podcast has been reduced now to weekly episodes, the daily blog still keeps me grounded, reflecting on my creative journey while aiming to lead others to do the same. Yet I know there will be seasons when the momentum wanes and the consistent practice feels arduous rather than life-giving. In those times, the commitment of this accountability community will be invaluable, motivating me to persevere in the mutually beneficial work of diving into Scripture.

So I invite you: What is your creative craft, the work God has called you to produce? Discover it, then build discipline around it through the support of community accountability. Understand that like the elites, you never truly “arrive”, but the eternal impact you can have through remaining a disciplined disciple is immeasurable.

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How Do I Know If I’m Settling for Less Than I’m Capable Of?

How Do I Know If I’m Settling for Less Than I’m Capable Of?

Standing on a heap of grass jutting out like the tip of Florida in the middle of the little lake at Independence Grove, I witnessed an exercise in bravery and inspirational independence. I marveled at a loud, cackling group of red-winged blackbirds feverishly moving in unison from tree to tree. I wasn’t sure if they were playing, fighting, or perhaps just having a lively debate.

But whatever they were doing, they were loud and united. My first thought was in celebration of the unity of that moment, then the next moment struck me as I saw one bird flying outside of that group. It quickly soared past me, a streak of black across the morning blue sky, and continued soaring higher and higher. It was powerful as I looked up to see a plane a few thousand feet higher, soaring in a similar path. I couldn’t help but think this bird may have believed something different about who he was. While there is beauty in being part of the crowd, and strength in the important unity of being together, there is also something inspirational about seeing and believing something greater about who you can be.

I had the thought for a moment that maybe… Just maybe, this bird thought he could fly higher and wanted to test the limits of his wings. The Icarus analogy isn’t lost on me in this, but it is birds like that, leaders like that, who build the bold and brave futures that the cackling crowd gets to enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with being in the crowd. In fact, there’s a sense in which this club is a similar crowd.

But what if you were built to fly higher?

Don’t be afraid to soar differently.

Did you enjoy the episode? Check out yesterday’s post.