On the Back 9, I can say with absolute certainty that every small discipline you develop in your life can lead to multiple rewards. It highlights the biblical law of sowing and reaping. If you sow well, you not only reap well, but the law suggests that you will reap much more. There are many actions that have predictable results, but making positive decisions and having the discipline to actually follow through can have rewarding results.
For example, let’s look at children. When they are born, they don’t know anything. They have to be taught, given boundaries to help them grow and learn, but also to keep them safe and protected. They need to be disciplined on how to treat others and taught how to do things, taught what is acceptable and what is not. If a child is left to himself, he will be confused and struggle. It has been proven that children need to be taught discipline.
For adults ages 18 and up, let’s just take a look at an area that we usually don’t think about, our thoughts. We need to discipline our thoughts. For me personally to overcome my over the top fear of flying, the first thing I had to do was examine my undisciplined thoughts! They were over the top and absurd! Seeking more knowledge and disciplining my thoughts changed that fear. If we don’t learn to discipline the way we think, it can keep our life in a state of chaos and confusion. Confused thinking produces confused results. Paying attention to my thoughts has been an amazing discipline that has brought multiple rewards.
I am a planner and I have realized planning for tomorrow and looking ahead is a great discipline. But I also had to discipline my mind to realize I could only live in the present day, therefore, the discipline to live the day and plan for tomorrow had to be implemented. Sometimes I have found myself so busy planning for tomorrow that today never GOT LIVED!
As for worry, Satan really attacks everyone in this area. I know he has me. I have heard it said that the things we worry about usually never happen and I agree with that statement! In Luke 12:25 it asks, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” It takes a disciplined focus and lassoing of your thoughts to realize worry is a lack of faith and trust. Then, you have to take it a step further and discipline yourself to recognize the “voice” or “thought” that takes you down to an undisciplined and worry thought pattern.
I see these as chains that I allowed and accepted Satan to wind around me. It has taken DISCIPLINE to change and recognize the chains that were being thrown at me and around me. Worry is an invisible chain and so is procrastination or instant gratification. Worry makes you feel you are doing something worthy. Procrastination….is that comfy chair we sit in thinking that “we are the boss of ourselves” and it is a control issue with ourselves disguised in laziness and apathy. Instant gratification is just prideful and self-centered most of the time…….It is the quick fix or quick pleasure, lack of patience and self-control that has little regard for thinking that waiting could produce a bigger and better harvest.
I loved the study on young children that Mark Batterson wrote about in his book, “All IN.” He tells about a study of young children who were put in a room and given a marshmallow. They were told that if they didn’t eat it while the provider was gone, they would then receive a second one upon the instructor’s return. If they ate the marshmallow prior to the instructor’s return, there would be no second marshmallow. Of course some could not wait and ate the marshmallow, while others displayed delayed gratification and received the second marshmallow. The children in this study were followed through their lives…..the ones that exhibited delayed gratification had higher test scores, stronger and healthier relationships, just to name a few. Delayed gratification proved to be significant. (A discipline for sure)
I will never forget a simple test I was given about paying attention to my actions and NOT taking on the responsibility that others were placing on me. I didn’t have the discipline in my life to see it, so WISE counsel sat me down and showed me this waded up piece of paper and said, “This is a bomb!” Then he threw the paper at me and I instinctively, without thinking, reached and caught the “bomb/piece of paper!” He then asked me, “Why did you catch the bomb? I told you it was a bomb!” He proved to me I was so instinctively, without thought, taking the “bomb” without thinking about what I was reaching for. I heard him say it was a bomb and I actually reached out and caught it. The point of his very vivid and STRONG VISUAL was that I was not thinking or controlling my thinking about catching the “bombs” of life that were thrown at me! Just because someone else was holding a bomb (anger, responsibility, etc.) and they threw it at me, didn’t mean I had to catch it!!! I got it….I loved it, and evoking that simple discipline of recognizing “other people’s bombs” that were thrown at me. I DID NOT HAVE TO CATCH THEM!!! LIFE CHANGING FOR ME!! Just that simple discipline!!
Understand, everything in life has a price. Everything affects everything else. Lack of discipline? There will be a negative price. Positive discipline? There will be a positive price. Stop and think about your life. If you evoked one new simple positive discipline for the next six months to a year….How would your life change? Maybe it is the discipline of a daily time with God. Maybe it is taking a brisk walk for 20 minutes a day. Maybe it is calling a loved one once a week. Maybe it is learning to say you are sorry when you know you are wrong. Maybe it is going from having 3 Diets Cokes with lime a day to one a week (that would be one of mine). Maybe it is flossing your teeth instead of just brushing….. you fill in the blank…..I can say for sure, paying attention to, deciding to and following through on being a MORE DISCIPLINED person can radically change your life for the better.
I leave you with the following powerful and true quotes, “Discipline yourself so others won’t have to!”
“We must all suffer one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is the discipline weighs ounces and the regret weighs tons.” –Jim Rohn