How many times have you heard someone say, “I wish I had what he/she has”? It may be a successful business or ministry, a slim figure, a happy family, or early retirement.
It’s easy to feel this way when you haven’t taken into account the hard work and self-sacrifice it took for them to get what they have. But the truth is the good things God has for us don’t just automatically happen.
We have to invest something—time, money, our abilities—in order to have everything God has planned for our lives.
The Easy-Way-Out Myth
Too often we want to skip the hard work and go directly to the results. People are always looking for the easy way to get what they want – a quick fix or some magic formula.
They want to lose weight without having to cut calories or exercise. They want to have nice things without having to save the money to buy them. Nobody wants to suffer or sacrifice.
But the fact is, you and I will never have the things we want to have in life if we aren’t willing to practice the discipline and self-control it takes to have them. To put it bluntly, if you want the perks, you have to put in the work!
Discipline Is Not a Dirty Word
The Bible tells us that all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11). Discipline isn’t fun, but it is essential for our character development and to prepare us for the end result of our hard work.
Self-discipline is a fruit of the Spirit that develops when we do the right thing consistently, over and over again, for a long time. It’s about getting rid of an “I wish I had” attitude and having an attitude of “I’m going to go for it!.”
It may include paying off debt, getting proper nutrition and exercise, changing the way you think and speak, or spending quality time with God and in His Word every day.
As you become disciplined in every area of your life, you will become equipped to handle bigger responsibilities and privileges in the future.
God has amazing plans for your life! As long as you’re willing to do your part and trust Him to do what you can’t do, you will make progress...little by little. And before you know it, you’ll be enjoying the wonderful results of doing the work!