August 7th 2015
As we strive to improve our lifestyles, we must remember to take stock of what we already have. Often, when we set personal goals like weight loss, greater community involvement, or advancement in our careers, we already have the attributes we need to make these things happen.
Anyone who has ever played a sport knows that, many times, coaches will remind us that athletes are very disciplined and competitive people who work day in and day out towards achieving their final goal. Regardless of what sport or activity you participated in, someone at some point told you to do what you needed to do to get ahead. After all, all competitive sports or activities require some amount of discipline. You have to commit to a team, long practices, grueling workouts, and more. Perhaps you are involved in an academic endeavor like an advanced degree or a job-related challenge. Any activity in which you find yourself deeply involved requires you to think outside the box, devote large amounts of time and force some discipline into your life. For the moms and dads out there, taking on parenthood and all the sacrifices it entails is enough to instill the highest level of daily discipline into your lives.
In my book Dressed for Victory: Putting on the Full Armor of God, I talk about how wearing the Armor of God prepares us to walk through our daily lives. When we pray, we create a dialogue with God. When we go to church, we honor God and hope to obtain the spiritual nourishment that will help us continue to live disciplined lives. Add to that all that we do and sacrifice daily as parents, as students and athletes who work hard to achieve greatness or in any other role we may be committed to and we have a pretty good formula for keeping distractions and negative influences at a minimum in our lives.
So, as we examine our goals and chart our progress this summer, I urge you to tap into your strengths and recognize the work that you have already done to shape the person that you have become and the stronger person that you know you have inside. Remind yourselves daily to use discipline and the pride of knowing that you have already come so far to push even further. Above all, remember that with God, you can achieve even greater things.