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Self-discipline is essential to a successful rodeo or bull riding career. Diet and exercise take self-discipline to succeed. We have to be self-disciplined to keep up with regular drills and practice, be it with a Mighty Bucky or a roping dummy.

The same goes for our Christian faith.

It takes self-discipline to read your Bible daily, to pray regularly and to make it to church on time to worship together as believers and learn from God's word from teachers called by Him to help shape our lives.

Heck, it even takes self-discipline to ignore the distractions ahead of the start of a rodeo or bull riding to make it over to cowboy church.

During  a period of his ministry, the Apostle Paul was faced with conflict within the church. By being absent on his missionary journeys or time imprisoned, others began to question the strength and integrity of his leadership and he addressed the church at Corinth quite strongly.

In his letter to them in 2Corinthians, he told the church they need to face the arguments and attacks against Christianity and the church by presenting  back to them who we are as Christians with Christ living in us. To succeed as Christians in a world against us, we're to take every thought captive and make it obey Christ's teaching.

 2Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”

There's so much teaching, especially among bull riders, about the power of positive thinking and laws of attraction that in many ways, mirror this. The problem is, we're taking thoughts captive with the mistaken idea that we're in control and we think we can influence outcomes in our favor as we pursue our own goals.

For Christians, it can't work both ways. We can't be developing our minds to achieving our own goals while also making them obedient to Christ. We can go our own way, ignoring the fact that God's still in control of the outcomes, or we can focus our thinking on Christ.

If we learn to be self-disciplined and start focusing our thinking on a Biblical worldview (letting our Christianity define how we approach our culture) the when a choice or idea is presented to us that goes against our faith, we're able to stand against it and it has no power to affect not let it affect our faith or distract us from following Christ.

The ideas presented in materials like Psychocybernetics in themselves are not all bad when it comes to understanding we can have influence with our thinking. It's that these books and ideas point us toward pursuing our own goals, ignoring those of God and the Bible.

But when we're following God's plan for our lives, God can have tremendous influence through us on the rodeo grounds and bull riding arenas when we learn how to think as a Christian and let that thinking influence the world around us.

In Romans, Paul reminds us that in Christ, our lives are transformed by the renewal of our mind into one that is focused on God. He urges us not to follow worldly thinking but, as we let our lives be changed by God, we will be able to recognize what His plans are for our lives verses our own.

 Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We can be tempted by the large number of bull riders and cowboys following power of positive thinking techniques but if we are taking every thought captive, we can stand against that temptation. We're going to realize God's way is better and look for how we can honor and glorify Him in all that we do.


 While writing this, a bull rider posted a status message to Facebook that said, Maybe if you would practice you wouldnt get one jumped at the rodeos!

 Exactly! If we practice our faith, if we are self-disciplined and focus on taking our thinking captive and turning it toward what we're learning from the Bible and Christian teachers, we won't get one-jumped by our own plans and find the kingdom-building success that comes from following Christ and leading others to him.

Taking every thought captive means thinking like a Christian and letting that shape your world