Week 35 (Day 4): Discipline

Discipline: the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
“here are two types of you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”– Jim Rohn
Preparation is crucial before a big race or a big game. Echoing the words of John Wooden, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
In order for their physical bodies to perform at the most optimal level, athletes must keep their bodies in shape by saying “no” to certain foods and maintaining a strict diet. Training sessions are often both physically and mentally demanding of athletes – for example, studies have shown that the average world class athlete trains approximately 23 hours a week.  In addition, athletes and their coaches need to stay up to date with the latest techniques and strategies.
During preparation, the body and the mind are constantly challenged to push limits and move beyond comfort zones. Preparation is vital. There are no shortcuts; only hard work, patience, and perseverance.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul continues using the athletic metaphor and talks about the importance of discipline.
1 Corinthians 9:27
I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Paul understood that he was called not only to share the message of the Gospel. He knew that his life – a changed life redeemed by Christ – would be one of the most powerful testimonies to God’s saving grace and power.
Like an athlete, Paul understood the need to train and discipline himself to live a lifestyle of a follower of Christ – one who takes up the cross and denies himself.  
In this life, we are faced with making many choices, decisions, and crossroads.
Research on the sinking of the Titanic has concluded that a series of slits, not a giant gash, sank the Titanic. The 900 foot cruise ship sank in 1912 on its first voyage, from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the worst maritime disaster of the time. The most widely held theory is that the ship hit an iceberg, which opened a huge gash in the side of the liner. But an international team of divers and scientists used sound waves to probe through the wreckage, buried in mud two and a half miles deep in ocean water. Their discovery? The damage was surprisingly small. Instead of the huge gash, they found six relatively narrow slits across the six watertight holds. Small damage, below the water line and invisible to most, sank the Titanic.
It is often the little seeming insignificant things like small compromises, that erode away at a person’s integrity and cause him to fall.
Life is filled with making choices and decisions.
1 Corinthians 10:23
Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial.
The choices YOU MAKE will eventually MAKE YOU.
Which type of pain will you choose?
The pain of DISCIPLINE?
Or the pain of REGRET?

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