You will always experience one of two pains, the pain of Discipline or the pain of Regret. Which of the two do you wish to experience?
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Ever looked back and said, “If I just had a second chance to …” or maybe “Why is it that I can’t seem to just get started?” This is the pain of Regret. It always comes in the past tense. The missed opportunity or open door. As a matter of fact the pain can be so great that it even affects your family, your finances and your life style.
So often as leaders we have to face the fact that we have to do things we don’t like to get the results of what we do like. Working out in the morning, taking your lunch to work, it’s that delayed pleasure that allows us to be the better us. The pain of delaying that pleasure is the pain of Discipline. As the scripture says above, we shouldn’t have to have others order us or threaten us to make wise moves.
Stephen Covey said it best when “We have to keep the end in mind.” Paining ourselves to plan and work now allows us to live in the future”. Do not just correlate this to your work. Think about it in the context of your family. Being unfaithful for instance…….paining yourself or disciplining yourself by resisting or allowing yourself to get into situations where you are tempted……… plan it out and put up boundaries, so that your family will live and not be torn apart. The same is for your body….. you need to pain yourself by eating healthy, working out, eliminating sugar so that your body can live. Perhaps you need to pain yourself by admitting your part in a particular situation…..so you can have forgiveness and emotional rest. The regret of holding onto unforgiveness causes you to be physically ill and also keeps you from being Christ like…..you are operating more in an anti-christ spirit which is Satan and no one would ever want to admit to acting like Satan or even being like him, but it’s a reality and we put that in perspective, we would treat people better. Perhaps you need to surrender an addiction or even rebellious behavior.
What could be pains of regret? Loss of loved one or family, constantly visiting a doctor, broken relationships, bad decisions, financial loss, irreversible damage to your body and your mind, loss of job, people not trusting you, unforgiveness.
What areas in your life do you need to exercise more discipline? Are you struggling today with the pain of regret?