Self-Discipline was far and away the most requested quality to talk about during this series. We didn't all ask for self-discipline because we're all so good at it; most of us recognize self-discipline, or the lack of self-discipline, as the most significant growth barrier between who we are and who we want to be.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 NLT
24 Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize…
The minute we start talking about self-discipline, somebody's going to equate self-discipline with will-power immediately. If due to past failures, you've already labeled yourself as someone with no will power, you wrongly assume that a disciplined life is out of reach for you.
If you struggle with self-discipline, you don't have a will problem, you have a reward problem. Paul said, the runners in a race run that they might win the prize. The value of the award fuels their self-discipline.
Elite athletes don't live disciplined lives because they think disciplined lives are virtuous. They live disciplined lives and endure all kinds of self-denial because they want the pleasure of the prize. They believe the satisfaction of the medals, trophies, rings, and records are superior pleasures to eating whatever they want or sleeping in and not working out.
The power for self-discipline does not come from admiring self-discipline; it doesn't come from wishing we were more self-disciplined. It doesn't come from making new resolutions and detailed plans and schedules for self-discipline. Those things can help, but in the end, they aren't enough fuel to keep us motivated. And self-discipline certainly doesn't come from being cynical about our lack of self-discipline.
The fact is, when the reward of what we want (heath and fitness, living on a budget, etc.) becomes a greater joy to us than our current pattern of living, we will find the self-discipline to change.
At Northplace, we've been planning and praying over this year for a long time, believing God to do something special. This weekend, we're kicking off the year with a series called "Get Up And Lead."
We have this sense that God wants to take some biblical principles from the life of Jesus to make you better in whatever area of influence you are. If you're a father, or you're a mother. If you serve in an office, you own a business, you're a coach or a teacher; there are principles in the word of God that will help you be better in that classroom or on that team.
You don't have to just make it to the end of the day, you have a choice in life. You could be a thermometer and let your life be dictated by the temperature in the room, or you can be the thermostat; you can set the temperature in the room.
We want to equip you to be the thermostat. We want to equip you to know how to set the temperature in whatever circle of influence that you have from a biblical framework.