Not All Pains Are Equal
Plenty of people practice discipline today—body builders, academics, athletes, and anyone on a consistent diet—but no one really likes to talk about it. And apart from the aforementioned exceptions, we live in a generally undisciplined age. We prefer life without restrictions—even self-imposed ones.
I don’t know who said this but it’s true: you have to choose your pain—either the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment. One or the other. One requires perseverance and comes with rewards. The other provides immediate ease but no long-term payoff. Both are painful, only one worthwhile. But you have to face at least one of them.
One is biblical too: I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, wrote Paul (1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV). You shall teach [these words] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up, commanded God (Deuteronomy 6:7 NKJV). Many biblical writers and characters demonstrated the value of delayed gratification for future joy.
One of the greatest practices you can learn in life is the practice of self-discipline—physically, mentally, spiritually, and more. It leads to long-term benefits and very few regrets. And it positions you to experience God’s richest blessings. No matter how painful it seems in the moment, it’s much less painful than the alternative.
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