(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh. Colossians 2:21-23
The idea of self-discipline seems so good. I only wish we were all able to genuinely produce whatever type of change we wanted to see in ourselves. I was recently asked what is the difference between self-discipline and self-denial. I said self-discipline is pushing ourselves or putting pressure on ourselves to change and self-denial is saying no to self altogether. The pressure of self-discipline is often maintained through goals or rules. The emphasis is generally on working and doing as the means to change. If we change as a result of self-discipline, we feel proud of what we have accomplished. This type of practice may help us deal with the first two areas that are not of God: the lust of the eyes, and the lust of the flesh; Yet will, more then likely, fill us completely full of the third area, the pride of life, which also, is not like God. Self-discipline then is busy and noisy which is the opposite of the gratefulness to the Lord who wants us to grow in Him.
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
Don’t say I must decrease so that He can increase, but rather say He must increase therefore I must decrease. It is dangerous to get the decrease ahead of His increase.