Where does discipline come from?

This is a simple answer. This is a complex answer.

One the one hand it comes from the Holy Spirit. He undergirds natural human
abilities and directs them towards a goal more glorious than just your own ends.

He directs them to bring glory to God.

On the other hand, it comes from with YOU. It doesn’t happen passively or ‘magically’.

Either way, discipline comes from within.

Discipline is an internal force.

Sure, you can have discipline imposed on you by a person, like a drill instructor, or some self-help guru on TV, but the reality is: He won’t give you real discipline.

Because that external discipline is not strong.

It will not survive. It cannot stand on its own.

What you are looking for, what you need, is SELF-DISCIPLINE.

Self-discipline, as the very term implies, comes from the SELF.

It comes when you make a decision to be disciplined.

When you make a decision to be better.

When you make a decision to do more, to BE more.

Stop blaming God, and the Holy Spirit for not creating it in you.

Paul says, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control,” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27) and goes on to compare himself to those disciplined athletes of the world who most often don’t have the Spirit, but are able to MAKE IT HAPPEN .

Self-discipline comes when you decide to make a mark on the world.

If you don’t think you are disciplined: It is because you haven’t decided to be disciplined. YET.

It is because you haven’t released it. YET.

You haven’t become it. YET.

So where does it come from? It comes from you.

So make the decision.

Make the commitment.

Become the discipline—embrace its cold and relentless power.

And it will make you better and stronger and smarter and faster and healthier than anything else. And most important: It will make you free.



This is my Christian rendition of “Discipline Equals Freedom Field manual” 2017, Willink, St Martin’s Press


  1. Frank de Wet
    January 28, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Thanks Tyrell. I think you give some needed correction here.
    I was just wandering if it is also (as you say on the one hand) by the Spirit then how do we “balance” (I am not sure if balance is the right word here) this with us making the decision and acting on it? How do we walk, yet we walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16, 25)? How do we make sure we don’t just do this like a secular Athlete? Is it only your motives that differ form a secular person who is disciplined? Should our methods not also be different? How do we like Paul live by His power (Col. 1:29)? How do we labor like Paul yet it is the grace of God that makes us what we are (1 Cor. 15:10)? How do we become disciplined yet God is glorified for it? I would love to learn more and be able to explain this better to people.

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