Several times this past week I did something that I really didn’t feel like doing. I was on my way to run and I didn’t really feel like running. I ran anyway, and I’m glad I did. On another occasion I was supposed to work out at 6:00 AM. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, but I did it anyway. In both cases, I did what I didn’t really want to do in the moment but felt a sense of victory once I had finished. I believe this is called “discipline.”
One of the things I have read about successful people is that they all have a commitment to do the things they don’t feel like doing. They are very disciplined. They know how to delay gratification now for a better result later. As Nathan Whitley put it, “The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline.” Well said.
The pain associated with my running today is less than the pain of heart surgery later. The struggle to workout today is less than the effects not working out will have on my body in years to come. This principle of staying disciplined is not just in the area of physical disciplines. It is also true for spiritual, relational, financial, emotional, and intellectual disciplines.
If I get up early to have a quiet time with God, I will be thankful later. If I live by a budget today, I will be glad I did in the future. If I plan a date night with my spouse today it will make a difference in our relationship down the road. If I stay emotionally energized today, I will have greater emotional health later. Doing the things I don’t really feel like doing today will be worth it in the future. This is a principle that does not fail.
Today we recognize that successful people live by the principle of discipline, and the Bible spoke about this concept many years before our time. The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” A more popular way of saying it is, “You reap what you sow.”
Farmers know that the work they do in the field today will not be noticeable until later. If they work hard to keep their fields fertile now, they will see fruit at the time of harvest. Wise farmers do not let themselves get tired of doing the right thing at the right time. We can all learn from farmers and keeps doing the right things at the right time in order to see good fruit at a later time.
Being a successful disciple and disciple maker sometimes means doing what you don’t feel like doing. It is not always easy to stay inspired and motivated to make disciples. I want to encourage you to stay faithful in your commitment to being a disciple and building more disciples. You will never regret making sacrifices now so that will reap such an amazing harvest later.
If you need encouragement on your disciple making journey, contact us. We are here to support you in any way that we can.
By Ken Adams. Used with permission.