We can do whatever we want. Seriously. Whatever we want. We all have free will. In this country especially. We can say what we want, go where we want to, do what we want to, eat what we want to, etc…We have freedom. And because of that freedom I believe that it is hard for some of us to discipline ourselves. Some of us take our freedom to the brink of self destruction. We can lack self-control in areas of our life that we know need to be controlled. Yet, we excuse our lack of control with the thought process of “I can do whatever I want”.
When we truly look at some of our behaviors. When we get alone and really look in the mirror we can see that our lack of self discipline is can be related to our lack of self-love. Why else would we continue to eat unhealthy foods when the doctor warned us to change our eating habits or we will get sicker? Why else would we enter into a destructive relationship, knowing it will not end well, but feels good at the present time? Why else would we continue to say hurtful things to the ones we love? Why else would we continuously be late to work knowing that this is our only source of income? Is it because deep down we don’t care? Is it because deep down we don’t want the best for ourselves? Is it because we don’t really love ourselves?
I know this seems like a pretty bold statement. To insinuate that if you don’t practice self-discipline then you don’t love yourself is bold. But hear me out!
“because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” Hebrews 12:6
I am a mother of two amazing children. Because of my love for them I try to do what’s in their best interest. I don’t allow them to eat cake morning, noon, and night (even though my son would absolutely love to). I don’t allow them to go certain places. I stop them from touching the stove, knives, and other objects that could cause harm. I also correct them when they do something I feel is not appropriate, nice, harmful, or disobedient. No one thinks I’m a bad person for “restricting” my children. No one thinks that I don’t love my children because I will not let them eat cake all day (although, my son may feel this way at times). I am a mother and because of my love for them, these things must be done. Discipline, correction, and restriction are all a part of a parents love.
It is the same with us. When we love and value ourselves we won’t allow certain things to destroy our health, well-being, relationships, and power. When we love ourselves we control ourselves. If we know that eating cake everyday will cause us problems in our health then we don’t eat cake because we love ourselves and value our health. But if we don’t really care about our health then we eat the cake. It really is that simple. We have the freedom to do whatever we like but if it’s not beneficial to us then we must discipline ourselves.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Self-discipline has been given to us. We all posses it. For most of us, it is an area of struggle. Whether it be in health, relationships, work or controlling that mouth. Disciplining ourselves can be hard. But it is a part of love. Love and discipline go hand and hand.
Today I pray that we begin to manifest the spirit of self discipline in the area we need it the most. I pray that we begin to see ourselves as valuable as God sees us and that we show love to ourselves by controlling ourselves. I pray that God opens our eyes to see ourselves as He sees us. May we see through the lens of His love.