"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness - in conformity to God's will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God)."
Ah, we've become a society of entitlement. Where loop holes are endless and taking the easy way out just feels right.
Yet, if you look deep into the pages of the old testament, where discipline was first introduced, you get the feeling that its very essence promotes blessings, peace, and good will.
But so many of us are blinded by our busy lifestyles that we forget. How can we take on one more task if we barely crawl into bed each night with our task list still undone? So, we take the easy way out. We pray for what we need, and we thank the Lord for what we've got. After all, shouldn't that be enough? Keeping God in prayer each day? Sadly, no it isn't.
It is the fine art of self discipline that really builds solid spirituality. Look around you. How disciplined are you? Is your house disheveled? Are you over weight? Have you run into rut? Is your daily dress unfaltering? What about your hair? Do just toss it into a ponytail or bun rushing off to work with little facial prep, too? Do you leave stubble that is a light beard length until you take the time to shave?
I know what you're going to say, "I just don't have time for myself, my job, my kids, my partner needs me. I just can't fit it all in."
But you can. You just put yourself last. That's where discipline comes in. How can you expect change if your are just going to whine and hope it drops into your lap? Profound change comes with acute discipline. Let that sink in.
You have to get out of your bubble living for the moment. "But, I can barely get through the day!" you exclaim. We must not buy into that lie that we should only live for the moment or the present is all we have. We also have a future to consider, and we need to begin to live with an eye toward "afterward," or toward the "later on" times. We have to begin to care just as much or more about later on that we care about right now.
Summer is on its way. You want to wear that bathing suit and fell proud? You need to start eating healthy and exercising DAILY right now. Download a program or get an App. There are so many available on the web. Lose It! has great reviews. There's also Fitbit for steps and exercise. Don't be afraid to utilize updated technology to help you reach your goal. Name a goal, do a search, and find a program that will help you make that new discipline real. Don't fall into that old adage, "Nothing ever works." Your body consumes calories. Too many calories make you fat. Have you ever been sick? Lost several pounds? Well, there you are. Eating LESS does work. You just need to discipline yourself.
Do you need to get out of debt? Then do a search. Dave Ramsey has a great online calculator. And guess what? So does your bank, probably. There are so many programs out there that if you just do a search it will guide you to debt relief, and you can watch progress as you move into financial freedom. Have you logged onto Credit Karma? That's all free, too! Watch those credit card bills fall as you plummet into zero debt.
What about you home? How's that looking? Are you constantly tidying and cleaning, yet it feels endless? Then why not log onto Netflix and watch Marie Kondo's Tidying Up? I have recently begun the process, and I can tell you there is more to gain than just getting rid of a few things if you work the process. You're life will be transformed. Once you get rid of the clutter around you, so will you get rid of the clutter in your life. She's also written two books The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Spark Joy. I have personally read both and have received such blessings while following the protocol.
Just remember discipline is not meant to be pleasant. But if you forge forward you will get a sense of satisfaction in your soul. A satisfaction that comes from knowing you are making good choices. If you will pay the price now, you will enjoy rewards later. I you can't seek self-discipline and want the easy way out. Then your dreams are going to amount to nothing. If you don't pay the price now to do what is right, then you'll suffer the consequences of an undisciplined life later. We can't simply wish our lives to be different; we have to press though our own laziness, fleshly desires, bad attitudes, and refuse to give up on the discipline that will yield good fruit later on.
If there is something you want to see happen in your future, start disciplining yourself toward it right now, and later on you will enjoy the fruit of it. But, you have to develop the will and fortitude needed first! Make it real, get real, and take no prisoners!
This Week's Meditation:
Teach me discipline
Help me to realize that taking the easy way out is not the best
Teach me to trust that if I discipline myself things will get better.
Remind me that everything will fall into place.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always.