Short-term vs. Long-term

I have been looking at my office and closet for over three weeks now… literally “overwhelms” me to look at the stacks of things that have piled up since April when my mother passed. Things I had to put down to do the important…the very important…then more important things came about….the kids came home for the summer. There were already planned weddings, more unexpected deaths. Life…..has just kept on rolling.

There were speaking engagements on the calendar, edits to complete…..and the daily blog that has not been so daily lately…..Does anyone feel me??? I realize that I am not the only one who gets behind and gets overwhelmed…. Life can take very unexpected twists and turns…but what I can say is that I have finally endured “short-term pain” in order to have “long-term gain!”

Allow me to elaborate–in life, to be truly successful we, at times, need to embrace “short-term pain” for “long-term gain”. “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however; it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

KEY POINT here: Never go back to avoiding short-term pain or discomfort when it can and will lead to long-term benefits.

For me recently, the short-term pain meant taking the time to go to my office and stay there until I had cleaned out, organized paperwork, handled the not-so-fun stuff, pay bills, return emails and many other things. For two weeks straight, I would walk in and out of my office and complete my A-list things (had to’s) and then leave… the mounting pile of stuff just kept rising….finally….I realized I needed to activate the self-discipline of attacking the growing “piles” of stuff. The long-term benefit? The nagging feeling is gone; the dark cloud that hung over my head has disappeared…and my mind is especially “free” and clear to move on to other, more important things!

Not sure what your “pile” may be???

Our son Thomas has in his pile the short-term pain of working on the range to correct a bad habit in his “golf swing.” His teacher will not allow him to play at all. He has to stay on the range for hours with thousands of repetitions, day in and day out….and has been doing this for a month. He is not allowed to compete at all because, in the short-term, it would make him “revert” back to his bad habits….just to shoot a decent score. He constantly has to be reminded and encouraged that the pain and monotony of what he is doing and working on will bring him the LONG-TERM benefit of the consistency in his swing that can ensure better scores.

Over and over again on the Back 9, I see a pattern that leads to failure and that is the pattern of an “avoidance of pain.” With kids I mentor and with others that I have observed, I have witnessed first-hand the dangerous avoidance of pain and the “indulgence” mentality. No one likes pain. I can honestly say that I have never seen people who achieve and move forward who were not also willing to endure pain for a time in order to achieve and get the desired outcome.

…. no pain no gain…Death before resurrection…..Discipline before strength…..Investment before return……

Sacrifice is the price required in the short-term to receive the long-term benefit.

I see it in:
the sex lives of young men and women,
their study habits,
being healthy and working out,
taking a not-so-glamorous job that could lead to the dream job,
the avoidance of going back to school and getting an MBA which would require them to give up some nights for study in the short-term.

This happens in mature adults as well………We can all be guilty of falling into the trap of “avoiding pain” and sacrificing for the short-term….for whatever reason…I want to encourage you to apply the following scripture to your life and especially in areas where God wants you to experience short-term pain for HIS LONG-TERM BEST FOR YOU.

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:12-13

My life and scripture have proven to me that short-term pain can lead to fantastic outcomes! I hated pregnancy….it was miserable. I wasn’t one of those “barefoot, fat, happy people”. I certainly didn’t enjoy the labor of childbirth but I have absolutely loved and adored the LONG-TERM benefits of Brewer, Thomas and Collins… and all that God has produced in my life through our children!

Think about this–pain always comes before pleasure, investment before profit, exercise before health, study before a passing grade, practice before a win and discomfort before healing. Embracing this truth and allowing God to shine the light on the possibility that there may be an “inner sluggard” who is avoiding some kind of pain would be a wise thing to do.

God wants His best for us…It may require enduring some short-term pain…..Don’t miss His long-term benefit! If we face short-term pain now….face it…. your Payoff will come and the by-product in your life could be God developing His fruits of the spirit in your life….peace, patience, self-control…………. God is Great all the time; we just have to “strengthen our feeble arms!”

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