Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Demands of Discipline

In my devotion time this morning, I came across an excellent definition of the word "discipline."  According to Charles Swindoll, discipline is "doing what we don't want to do so we can accomplish what we've always wanted."  Sounds about right to me.  After all, it seems that I've had to discipline myself in many areas lately.

One must have discipline to work from home.  Otherwise, nothing would get done.  There are always distractions and other obligations.  There are always excuses for not getting to a particular task.  And while I love to write, there are particular areas (like marketing) that are a necessary part of my ministry, yet ones that despise doing.  But if I want to accomplish what I've always wanted, I have to be willing to do some of the things I really don't want to do.

I've also called upon discipline in my journey toward better health.  The road has been long and hard and involves many things that I would rather not do.  I don't like to exercise.  I don't enjoy making myself get out of bed at 7:00 in the morning so that I can do my three-and-a-half-mile walk.  I don't want to eat salad instead of a plate of fajita nachos from my favorite Mexican restaurant.  I don't want to drink water instead of soda.  I don't want to do stretches and Pilates and strength training.  But each of these things are necessary if I am ever to accomplish what I've always wanted--optimal health.

Then there's the housework.  Scrubbing bathrooms is no fun at all.  Having to give up some of my precious writing or reading time to do the dishes is misery.  Folding laundry.  Running errands.  Cooking.  Cleaning.  These tasks hold no joy for me at all, yet I know that if I don't discipline myself to do them (and do them regularly), I will never achieve a relaxing and peaceful abode.

I guess, in the end, it all boils down to this question:  How badly do you want it?  Whatever it is that you're trying to achieve, do you want it badly enough to implement true discipline into your daily routine?  Is your goal desirable enough that you're willing to do the things you don't enjoy in order to obtain the thing you've always wanted?  It won't be easy, and you may find that your discipline wavers from day to day.  But hang tough and be strong.  And imagine the joy that is awaiting you when you finally reach the thing for which you have strived.

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. - Proverbs 25:28

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