Denying discipline

You learn a lot about yourself when you are physically active.¬†You see how far you’re actually willing to go in order to secure the style of healthy living you are striving toward. You realize your work ethic and how dedicated you are. You discover if you give into the temptation to quit when results aren’t as quick as you had wished them to be or the track is harder to run than you’d thought.

Ultimately, it exposes your discipline or lack thereof.

Discipline isn’t comfortable. It requires denying your flesh, pushing on even when you feel like giving in. It edifies and grows. There is pain, exhaustion, frustration, and difficulty. But the results of good discipline far outweigh the repercussions of denying it.

Hebrews 12:11 reads, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”

There is something beautiful in the reaching of your goals, of seeing yourself develop in strength and aptitude. Soon, discipline no longer seems like a punishment but rather like a faithful reminder to work hard and with integrity.

In our spiritual lives, being disciplined can be aggravating at times. Right when we think we’ve arrived, we realize just how far we have to go. We stumble and fall. We rely on our hands and knees to get us to the finish line. We feel dejected. We feel like failures.

But what we’ve got to realize is that God’s hand disciplines for our benefit, not our punishment. Maturing in our faith requires that we understand God is all we need. He is our fulfillment, our purpose, our breath and our life. He isn’t watering us so that we drown. He is watering us so that we grow in spite of the heat of the sun.

Growth, be it spiritual or physical, demands something of us. It can’t be done lying down and boxing yourself in. Growth mandates our being exposed to the elements and learning to heed the whispers of God rather than the shouts of our flesh.

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