Habits Is As Habits Does
It takes discipline to achieve the things we long for in life--to be the people we want to be. And discipline is nothing more than developing the right kinds of habits.
This is the point where some of us check out. We hear the word discipline and we think all kinds of things--most of them bad.
When I was in second grade I got paddled in school just about every day for a period of a month or so. It seems I couldn't remember to pick up the proper folder from my cubby when we changed subjects in the classroom. When you forgot your folder you got a mark on the board. After a few marks on the board you got a paddling. When I think of discipline, that's what I tend to think about, so I get it.
We might believe that we aren't disciplined enough to effect transformation in our lives, but we always do what is important to us. We will develop habits around these values---and we become what we repeatedly do.
But true discipline--the kind that matters, the kind that can truly change your life for the better--true discipline is something a bit different. As pastor Craig Groeschel once said, "Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most."
Most of us struggle with this choice. The Apostle Paul spoke of his own struggle to make the right choice in his letter to the Romans:
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but Idon’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate...18 I want to do what is right, butI can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to dowhat is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want todo, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that doesit…24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from thislife that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer isin Jesus Christ our Lord."When all is said and done, what we need to know is that our way through this struggle, our guide to the right decision is none other than Jesus. We don't have to walk around in guilt because we miss the mark. We simply keep stumbling after Jesus, who is ultimately leading us to a fuller, more abundant life.
May you embrace this truth today and every day, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.