Last week we discussed training versus trying.
Here’s a brief recap.
Trying doesn’t work. Training does.
Trying is an attempt to do the right thing by exerting effort in the moment.
Training is a commitment to strategic habits you do before the moment that equip you to do the right thing in the moment. (Groeschel, 2023)
Embrace training versus trying will require discipline.
Discipline is painful.
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Hebrews 12:11 NLT
You are going to experience pain. Discipline may feel painful, but if you don’t live a disciplined life, you will experience the pain of regret.
Pastor Craig goes on to say, “Not choosing what you want now feels painful. But if you do choose what you want now, you will later experience the pain of not having what you want most.”
Choose your pain.
- Discipline – The pain of not getting what you want now.
- Regret – Not having what you want most.
Desire alone won’t get you what you want most, but discipline will.
But I am not a disciplined person.
You might be thinking, I am just not a disciplined person. I understand how you are feeling, but this is simply NOT TRUE.
When most people consider whether or not they are disciplined, they tend to focus on the areas of their lives where they lack discipline.
How do I know this?
This is me. I see all of the areas I want to change, yet have failed to do so. I’d bet you do something similar.
You are disciplined.
In his book, Pastor Craig says, “Think of discipline as choosing to do what’s important to you. You repeatedly do some things that are important to you. You eat. You sleep. Those are disciplines.”
There’s a good chance you also do certain disciplines that aren’t good for you. These disciplines are not helping you and could be hurting you.
- Overeating when you are stressed.
- Binging hours of tv when you really desire relationships.
- Ruminating all of the worst-case scenarios.
- Checking the locks 20 times before you go to bed. Just to be sure you are safe.
These are also disciplines.
Your desires don’t determine who you become. Your disciplines do.
NOTE: While I have certainly been guilting of those last two examples, I know how difficult it can be to stop. I am not trying to shame anyone, I am trying to help you see other examples of disciplines. Disciplines that involve mental health. There is a lot behind all of those disciplines, and there’s nothing easy about stopping them. Please know that it is possible!
Identify the top three areas in your life where you feel you lack discipline.
Next, identify the top three areas in your life where you exhibit the most discipline.
In the parts of your life where you are choosing what you want now over what you want most, write down your reasons for why you may be putting off the pain of discipline and risking the pain of regret.
- I’m just too tired to be consistent in disciplining my kids.
- I’m healthy right now, so I have time to start working out down the road.
In the areas where you realize you lack discipline, what is the biggest positive change that could come if you chose some pain today over putting it off until tomorrow? (Groeschel, 2023)
Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want now.
The path to public success is always paved with private discipline. (Groeschel, 2023)
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening- it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Hebrews 12:11 NLT
Groeschel, C. (2023). The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most. Zondervan.