IMAGINE WHAT THE world would be like if we only did those things they wanted to do. What if we only ate the things we wanted to eat or got up only when we wanted to and only did things that felt good?
Actually, I’ve done that on the food side of things, eating only what I wanted, and the results are devestating. Weight gain, health and heart problems as well as the total lack of energy.
All success is predicated on the idea of doing those things we don’t want to do. Successes in business, in relationships and health are found when we do things that others don’t like to do. The fact is, we should do MORE things we don’t like to do. Better, we should find things we don’t like to do and learn to like doing them.
Paul said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” [1Cor. 9:27].
Rather than success, let’s use the word grow. Growing means more than just getting physically bigger, it also means getting better. We can grow in many areas, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Peter said, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.” [2Peter 3:18]
Growth requires effort, it requires us to train our bodies and our minds by doing those tasks that seem unpleasant at the time. This is the full idea behind the word ‘chastening’ in Hebrews 12:11. “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
The word we often use to describe training is exercise. Not only should we exercise our bodies, we should exercise our minds. This training of the mind and the body prepares us to respond in those times of need.
Doing laps may sound horrible (they do) and boring, but come gametime, you’ll be glad you did. Michael Jordan said, “I play to win, whether during practice or a real game.” The same can be said about the hours spent in the study of God’s word. Come gametime (ie. Evangelism, times of trouble etc.) you’ll be glad you spent the time. No one is ever faithful during difficult times or times of persecution that wasn’t first faithful during times of ease.
Success (growth) or failure in any endeavor is not an event. Successful marriages, financial well being, educational degrees and the like are only ever achieved by multiple tiny decisions to do unpleasant things over and over until.
Yes, I intentionally ended the sentence with ‘until’, because the next question is, “how long?” Until you’ve made it, until you have it, until you face the judgement.
“That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:” [1Tim 6:14]