22.10.05

Discipline - Jesus Army Life, Day 101

It was the end of a busy evening when one of our residents began hugging everyone in the lounge. A mixture of confused delight and laughter followed as we realised he'd been given a "discipline" by another member. She had told him not to be so grumpy and had challenged him to show some love to everyone in the room before going to bed.

Needless to say after making everyone else laugh with this sudden display of humble affection he went to bed smiling.

In community-life a discipline will usually be a light challenge given by another Christian to train them in their spiritual life. The rule is that you normaly never ask anyone to do something you wouldn't do yourself. And of course, the recepient can say no, but if he is an obedient disciple who knows that to "submit to one another" is to grow in love, he will grudgingly agree.

It makes for a rich and bizarre life sometimes; but I'm trying hard to think of an example of a discipline that has been given to me, there haven't been that many (now I'm asking for it!)

In recent days we've had to give a far heavier type of discipline. One of our members was asked to leave the community house. We'll stay in touch but have suggested he go to another church for a short while, and he has moved to a nearby 'community' while he gets himself sorted. Without going into detail he fell foul of some "works of the flesh." We spoke together about this several times over as many weeks but unfortunately he continued to go his own way. I think it is fair to say he is very much loved by all of us and that is part of the reason we can't allow him to continue to sin in ignorance.

I'll finish with a short note about last night, when some of us underwent a quite different, more pleasant type of suffering. We were treated to a home made vindaloo by a famed member who lives outside the community. For any unfamiliar with the term, "vindaloo" is a popular spicy meal in the UK, originally from Goa, which uses the world's hottest chillies for a very intense "burn your guts out" experience. And very nice it was too. But for those who decided to eat the hottest vindaloo on the table (not me) it took some real... discipline.