A few days ago, I was reading Ann Voskamp’s words on how to avoid procrastination in this New Year and do the hard work to make progress. In that post she had a quote that I just can’t get out of my head.
Life is pain – and you get to choose: either the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment.
Go back and read that again. Let it sink in.
Pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment. Our choice.
I don’t know about you but life is full of disappointments that are totally out of my control. But what about the things I can control?
Am I willing to do the hard word of being disciplined or am I willing to live with the pain of disappointment?
I don’t want this year to be the year of disappointments. I doubt you do too.
So what are the hard things that you need to commit to do today that might require some painful discipline but the end result will bring so much joy compared to disappointment of not having completed anything.
In these last few days, I think of this quote so often as it relates to everyday life.
Am I willing to endure the discipline of getting up to start my day in prayer and bible reading or endure the disappointment of another frustrating day.
Am I willing to push through the many excuses to re-establish the discipline of going to church or endure the disappointment of loneliness and the loss of the beautiful thing called community that church brings.
Am I willing to establish good habits and put aside distractions to achieve my goals of daily writing and setting aside more family time or endure the disappointment of mediocrity?
I think if we reframe our thoughts, actions, and to-do lists by asking ourselves “is this worth the pain of discipline or worth the pain of disappointment” – it can really change how we live our lives.
Quite fitting to build on this concept, my daughter and I went to a ladies luncheon at my Aunt’s house where the pastor’s wife shared a beautiful devotion and challenged us in the New Year to Discover, Develop and Deploy.
Discover more about God – there is so much that we don’t know but ask that He would reveal a new thing to us this year as we seek more of Him. It really is all about Him and not about us.
Develop the fruit of the Spirit. A life well lived is a life full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control. But these things won’t just happen. We have to develop them in our lives and you can bet it will be painful but its worth the discipline to become more like Him.
Deploy our lives for the cause of Christ. That we would set out and use our gifts that we have discovered / developed and use them for God’s Glory.
If we follow this challenge, then we can can lessen the disappointments in life.
Not to be pessimistic but life is full of pain and hardships. We all weather hardships, although they may look differently for each of us. But the news is not all bad as we can make progress this year by enduring the momentary pain of discipline to achieve great things.
Hebrews 12:11 reminds us that
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
I challenge you in this New Year to do the hard thing. Endure the pain of discipline in whatever area you want to see the most improvement. You won’t be disappointed!