Here’s a line of thought that caught me and accompanied me through the last days.
I always wondered what it practically means that “God sanctifies his people”. I did not experience to be subject to any curriculum that would exhibit itself in the situations that occur in my life (even worse, I was successful in avoiding the situations where I could learn something …). Also, I did not get teachers assigned (those in your congregation don’t get assigned to you, it’s more like an optional course in university, and so is the outcome). One could argue that it actually is the task of brothers and sisters in faith to educate each other (Mt 28:20 ?), but while this is not the case we need to get another solution … .
The effect was this: I just saw these fine behavior standards in the Bible, and was unaware that I lacked the proper education to live these out. And because I was unaware, I thought I’m undisciplined not to live out what’s written. But when I tried to be disciplined, it did not work. And I was unaware that I just tried to do stuff wherein I was never educated, and thus failed … .
But, it’s now coming to me how sanctification can work: educate yourself. If the teachers are too few or too busy to really get you successfully through the education process, you need to do it yourself. And, you got the manual (called “Bible”).
The difference between self-education and self-discipline is, you start with the small steps. You recognize that “discipline” is not a decision, an effort or good performance on the human side, but a custom. And you acquire a custom of behavior by education … .
Currently, I’m thinking to use this autodidactic sanctification (of course, always in conversation with God …) as my non-religious flavor of Bible time.
My first experiments with this education thing are also in place. I realized that this kinda education is a moment-by-moment challenge for adequate personal behavior. For “adult” behavior, esp. in the spiritual sense. For holiness, resembling God more. And really, moment-by-moment: in every moment, there is at least one adequate thing to do, according to the Manual, but it’s not always comfortable.
The adequate thing to do no (or better, half an hour ago …) is to go to bed. It’s already 1:10am, and going to bed that early is a first step to go towards learning discipline … . 😉