Discipline will not be achieved in the first attempt. In many areas, it is a battle that goes on for long.
You have to struggle against tendencies towards indiscipline. You have to resist all the tendencies towards going back to indiscipline. You are struggling against indiscipline. It is a sort of fight. Do not give up. There are times when discipline will make you momentarily unhappy. Do not bother about immediate happiness. The Bible says, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant.” However, that is not all. “Afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Discipline is training, and no training is complete overnight. If you are overweight, you will not lose all the excess weight in one day. From the beginning, the change may be insignificant. Do not give up. Press on. Do not be discouraged. Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees. See that you strive to be disciplined in every area of your life. See to it that you do not fail to obtain the prize that discipline brings – a spirit, soul, and body totally pliable in the hands of God the Holy Spirit.
Stop giving excuses. They will not help you. The sluggard who does not want to work says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22:13). If you are overweight, do not say, “l have fat bones,” or “It is hereditary,” or “l eat so little but grow so fat.” Such excuses will help you to ease your conscience and you will remain fat. If you are undisciplined with your money so much so that you have no savings, do not excuse yourself by saying, “Well, we are told not to lay up treasures on earth.” The question is, “Are you laying up treasures in heaven?” If you are late, admit it. Do not look for an excuse to justify your lateness. If you want excuses, you can produce one million of them, but you will remain undisciplined.
BEGIN TO ACT TODAY
Begin to act on the contents of this message today. Act at once. Start with simple things; for the one who is disciplined in small things is also disciplined in big things.
Begin to keep all your appointments. Make sure you get to places in time. Do not be late. Allow time for the unexpected things that could come your way to prevent you from arriving there on time. Dress neatly. Pay attention to your buttons. Make sure your shoes are well polished. Make your bed neatly. Refuse to keep anything on it. When you take off a shirt from your body, hang it up or put it in the laundry basket for washing. Do not put it in one place in the hope of transferring it later on. Get your box organized. Put your wardrobe in order. Hang all clothes up in an orderly way. Brush your teeth. Refuse to break a fast before the scheduled date. You will not die from fasting for a few days or weeks. The Irish people who were on a hunger strike continued for two months before they seriously deteriorated and died. Greet people warmly. Push away all negative moods as soon as you discover that you are moody. Begin to speak all the truth. Remember that your purpose in discipline is to satisfy the Lord Jesus. Nothing can be too much to be done for Him.
Determine not to love pleasure. Love holiness. Set your eyes on the price. Buffet your body. Bring it under control. Buffet your soul and bring it under control. Discipline your spirit and bring it under control. God bless you richly along the way of discipline!