The following ideas can be classified as unicorn thinking: I can grow close to God without reading my Bible or going to church. I don’t need to work because I’m going to win the lottery and be rich. I can launch a successful business without putting in any extra time or energy. My kids will be happy and well adjusted without my time, energy and love. Longing for, dreaming of and wanting a given outcome without investing oneself in the process is almost always a fairy tale. The wrong belief will often keep you where you are, and it will keep you from what God has planned for you. You need to develop the right mentality and look toward your great God who can do amazing things in and through you.
Scriptures – Ex 14:15; De 6:6-7; 2 Co 10:12; Ep 2:10; He 12:10-13
Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. (2 Co 10:12) Our human parents disciplined us for a little while, as it seemed best to them, but God does it for our benefit so that we can share his holiness. No discipline is fun while it lasts, but it seems painful at the time. Later, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it. (He 12:10-11) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ep 2:10)
For God’s work to be done in and through your life you must kill the unicorn of comparison. As long as you believe that someone else has it made…the perfect home, family, job, whatever, you will be unhappy. What others allow to be seen, what they post on social media, the image they convey is most often grander than reality. Everyone is chasing unicorns, even the people you envy. Those who are truly successful have gotten there by sacrifice and discipline. If you have goals and dreams that God has placed in your heart, you can be successful, but it will require discipline. Discipline can develop when you build internal structures. Internal structures become part of you as you develop positive routines, surround yourself with support, fill you mind with what is good, honorable and Godly. It’s seldom that a person just wakes up one day and decides to change his life and actually follows through. It does happen, but those individuals are usually people who at some time have been disciplined. You must do the hard thing if you want a desired outcome. When you do the hard things and build the internal structures that become part of you, discipline is developed. You also need some scaffolding around you. Friends who hold you accountable, your church family, God’s word and personal time with God support you and keep you on a straight path. Putting off the hard things is putting off your future. Many live on the YOLO plan—you only live once. That is true, but it’s a dangerous philosophy when it becomes an excuse to do whatever you want with no regard for the future. Tomorrow does come and the choices you make today will significantly affect your tomorrows. Keep doing the hard things and over time with God’s help you will reap the rewards.
In what area are you most disciplined? In what area do you struggle most with discipline? What rewards have you enjoyed because of discipline? How have you developed internal structures to promote discipline in your life? Share one of the hard things you have done. How might your life have been altered if you hadn’t done the hard thing? Describe the elements of your scaffolding. Do you have an accountability partner? How does YOLO (you only live once) have contradictory meanings to the world and to a Christ follower?
Response – Choose an area where you need to develop discipline. Set some goals and make a plan, a routine for building discipline in this area. Determine the hard thing that you need to do first. Ask a friend to make you accountable. Track your progress. Keep at it.
Prayer – Dear Lord, guide me as I move forward. Give me the strength to develop the routines and structures that will create discipline in my life. Help me to keep trying! It is difficult to do the hard thing, but help me to see the rewards that you have in store. Thank you for always being with me and for your love and grace. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.