Monday, November 7, 2016

The First Step -- Self-Discipline

For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.
-- Proverbs 5:23

If I had to identify the first key to mastering the art of living it would be self-discipline. Brian Tracy, in his book No Excuses, defines self-discipline as "the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not." It's the ability to think of the long term. It's the ability to eat dinner before dessert. Self-disciplined people are more concerned with the positive, long-term consequences of their behaviors, than with personal enjoyment and immediate gratification.

The bad news is that self-discipline is very hard for most people. The good news is that self-discipline is a habit, and like any habit it can be formed at any age. The more you practice doing the necessary thing, at the right time (which is usually NOW!), even though you don't feel like it, the stronger you will get, and the easier it will become.

Self-discipline requires three things:

1. Desire. I can't make you want it, but if you want to master the art of living I think I can point you in the right direction.

2. Hard Work. There are no short cuts. Everything worthwhile in life comes with a price. You have to be ready to work hard every day.

3. Clear Vision. You have to know what you are chasing after in life and why you are chasing it. Goals, priorities, and a plan for a balanced life are important. But even more important is for you to know The Why?

If you can get this right it will bring a host of incredibly rewarding consequences. Not only will you start to get balance in your life, but you will also begin to feel yourself growing in character and integrity. You will find yourself becoming less anxious and more confident in the future that God has for you. In the following weeks I want to share what the Bible says about how this works.

It's going to be a great journey!

1 comment:

  1. One of the first areas of self discipline for me,when I came back to Jesus after a great deal of "wandering in the wilderness", was spending time with God every day. I had to make myself get up everyday an hour earlier than needed. Now after 8 years.... Cannot function without time spent in prayer and Bible Study in the mornings.
    Now if I can just do the right thing while driving...(patience doesn't come easy) Any words of wisdom for dealing with my driving angst? ��

    I love this sermon series and will be following up with reading your blog now to add to it.
    Thanks Pastor!!!