Pursuing Discipline

Establish a goal and discipline yourself to pursue it. California Baptist University Assistant Professor of Intercultural Studies and Director of the Global Center, Jeff Lewis learned to apply this in many areas of his life, including in the swimming pool.

A three time All-American swimmer, Lewis excelled in the water at the University of Tennessee. Lewis’ team was never ranked lower than fourth in the nation.

The success that Lewis achieved came from the discipline that he developed. Along with a rigorous practice schedule, he considered how each decision he made would affect his ability to achieve his goals.

“Discipline yourself to realize and to question, ‘Is what I do this weekend going to help me achieve my goals?’” Lewis said.

Even after finishing his career in athletics, Lewis was able to utilize the skills and abilities to discipline himself in other areas of his life. He began to study and memorize specific passages in the Bible and then meditated upon them.

A prayer made by the founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, Bob Pierce, shed new light on a direction that Lewis was to take with his life.

The prayer stated by Pierce desired, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart.”

Lewis set a goal to find out what things break the heart of God. Later he became aware that the question of what burdens God’s heart was answered in the scriptures that he had been memorizing and meditating on.

“I didn’t realize till after two years that everything that I had memorized and everything that I had meditated on was answering the question of what burdened the heart of God, which was that His name and His renowned would be known among the nations,” Lewis said.

He was later given the opportunity to teach at Oklahoma Baptist University. It became clear to him that this was a good way to teach a global perspective to open ears.

“I saw within the context of a single class that I taught how strategic the classroom was in helping students focus on a concept to the point that it was transforming,” Lewis said.

The discipline of working hard to achieve his goals in the water brought athletic success for Lewis. The discipline of studying and meditating on the scriptures helped him achieve his goal of learning what breaks the heart of God.

Lewis teaches an Introduction to Global Studies course at CBU where students are introduced to teachings of the Great Commission.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20