|Truth Or Tradition #359
By Gene H. Miller, Minister|
Steer Creek Church of Christ
3466 Rosedale Road,
Stumptown WV 25267
Steer Creek Church of Christ
Reach For The Sky #5
Dreams And Visions. Everybody has dreams of what they would like to do or like to be, but not everybody has the vision (foresight), the determination and the discipline to make those dreams a reality. What attitudes or personality traits must one have to be successful in life, to bring those dreams to reality? In addition to Self-Acceptance, Self-Confidence, and Self-Reliance, one must have Self-Discipline.
Essential To Success. Read the biographies of successful people, and you’ll find that to reach that success in whatever field, they had to exercise self-discipline, and the lack of that is where many fail. A self-disciplined father builds a business, retires, and leaves it to a son who isn’t, and he loses it. Lack of self-discipline is the reason New Year’s resolutions often fail.
Much has been written through the years about the importance of self-discipline: Solomon: “He that hath no rule over his own spirit, is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28). John Milton: “He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.” George Washington: “Confirm thy soul in self-control.” Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Self help and self-control are the essence of the American tradition.”
The Problem. Jesus said it best when He counseled the three (Peter, James and John) in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41). We are spirit beings, made in the image of God, living in a body of flesh made from the dust of the earth. (Genesis 2:7), and these two (spirit and flesh) are at odds with each other.
The Apostle Paul discusses that problem in Romans chapter seven. We can all identify with the struggle Paul was having. “For I know that in me (that is in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:18-19). That explains why we do things we know we shouldn’t, and don’t really want to, but we do them anyway. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The Solution. In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul tell us how he dealt with the problem: “but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” (1 Corinthians 9:27). That’s self-discipline. In fact, the New King James Version reads; “But I discipline my body..” Paul asks the question: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The answer is in the next verse: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:24-25).