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Monday, April 6, 2009

If It Was Easy, It Wouldn't Be Called Discipline

Many people hate discipline. (I first wrote "all people hate discipline" but I realized that there are some people who love a disciplined life. This blog doesn't apply to them. In fact, most of the problems of life doesn't apply to them.) Discipline is doing what we must do when we would like to do something else.

Discipline is not about knowing what to do. Most of us already know what to do. Discipline involves doing what you know to do. The student knows that he or she would do much better on an exam if studies were done each day. Cramming comes the night before because this wasn't done. The average man knows that he is gaining weight. Cramming comes when he tries to get into some pants he hasn't worn in some time. He knows he should have exercised or eaten less or a combination of both.

This is true of most of these things in our lives. Do we really believe we don't have to work on our marriages daily? Do we think we can clean our houses once a year? What does knowing what we need to do have to do with doing it? It seems very little.

The couch beckons us to sit when we come home from work. The tv tells us to sit still. The sand monster closes our eyes and makes us sleep. Our lives pass on without much happening if we don't fight our natural tendencies and do something.

We get complacent because we are actually not that dissatisfied with our present state. I may not like things as they are presently but I don't dislike them enough to get up off of the couch. "I can do that later," is my mantra. Later gets later and later because I am pleased with the way things are.

This is probably the greatest reason we don't grow as Christians. We don't pick up our Bibles or pray or serve because we are fairly happy with the status quo. We just aren't that interested in becoming more that we are right now.

This is also the reason that many people are without a job. Their companies have shut down because there are a number of employees who weren't working that hard. They were not improving. They were not challenging themselves to learn something new. Think of it, if the person who had a job for the last eight years had been going to night school, they could have learned an alternate career or something that would get them promoted in the are they are already working in. They would have been in a much better position to have gotten a new job when the economy went south. But this would have taken discipline.

Go look at yourself, your house, your car and maybe your garage and ask whether this is the way you want to look, live in, drive or wonder what you have in the garage. It will take discipline to make things different.

It will take discipline to keep things as they are if you are happy. It is harder to stay at a certain weight than to get there. It is harder to keep things clean than to clean them. We have a tendency to forget that we need to keep working after we have achieved our goals.

I have heard that 80% of success is beginning. I believe you need a plan and you must work your plan no matter what if you are going to improve. It will take discipline.

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