July 20, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Discipline

“Percentage of Americans who own running shoes but don’t run: 87%.”  Source: What Counts: The Complete Harper’s Index, edited by Charis Conn.

The above statistic validates the old saying that, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Just like those who purchase running shoes with the intention of becoming healthier, only to store the shoes in the back of a closet, each of us has had good ideas and good intentions that wind-up in the back of our Spiritual closets, collecting dust, due to our lack of self-discipline.

The legendary football coach Tom Landry said, “The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don’t want to do, in order to achieve what they’ve always wanted to be.” What was Landry saying? In essence, he was saying that his job was to teach his players discipline so they could achieve in their life the thing that they had always wanted.

The underlying message of Landry’s statement is simply this: Regardless of the endeavor, we will never achieve success without first learning how to be disciplined enough to obtain our goal.

  • Many people want a closer walk with the Lord.  Yet, they were not present in church this past Sunday – although they went to bed Saturday night with “good intentions.”

  • Many people want a closer walk with the Lord.  Yet, when asked about taking a leadership role in the church they deferred to someone else – although they had “good intentions.”

  • Many people want a closer walk with the Lord.  Yet, when they heard their neighbor was sick they never found time to make a telephone call, visit, or whisper their name in prayer – although they had “good intentions.”

  • Many people want a closer walk with the Lord.  Yet, they never seem to be able to find the time to start their day with prayer and devotion – although they have “good intentions.”

  • Many people want a closer walk with the Lord.  Yet, they never seem to be able to move past the “want it” stage into the “experiencing it” stage – although they have “good intentions.”

Why do so many of us desire a closer walk with the Lord yet not experience it? The answer is simple: No self-discipline.

When you and I decided to follow Jesus, in essence we were handed a pair of Spiritual Running Shoes.

I close this column today with a question: Where are your Spiritual Running Shoes? If they are in your Spiritual closet collecting dust, they are there because of a lack of Spiritual self-discipline.

If you want to experience a closer walk with the Lord, take your Spiritual Running Shoes out of your closet put them on your feet and start running! Remember: The road to hell is paved with good intentions! But it is “discipline” that will bring us to our goal – not “good intentions!”

“Percentage of Americans who own running shoes but don’t run: 87%.”  Sobering statistic, huh?

Brother Aaron

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