At the beginning of the year, most of us are pretty obsessed with discipline.
We want to discipline our bodies in the area of exercise and food intake.
We want to discipline our minds with books and educational activities.
We want to discipline our souls with prayer and time in the Word.
But, we fail. Every time we set a goal, we break it.
January 1st we’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with goals. By January 9th our eyes are bright with tears and our tails are between our legs.
When we get discouraged for breaking a goal, it’s harder to persevere. Then, frustration and despair can cause us to just give up.
We forget about grace.
If we aim for 100% compliance to our goals, we will fail. I started going to a naturopathic doctor about a year ago, to supplement the health care I am receiving from my traditional doctors.
Of course, there are a lot of supplements to take, foods I shouldn’t eat, things I should eat.
It could become a burden quickly.
With a chirpy attitude, my doctor told me she’s shooting for about 80%. She understands a woman’s life and removed the burden of perfection women think they have to carry.
When I fail, I don’t let myself go into a tailspin, beating myself up for my failures.
We need to let discipline and grace walk side by side, understanding by our nature, we will fail, and by His nature, He will pick us up.
We set our goals for graceful discipline.
If you want to exercise three times a week, and one week you only exercise two, let yourself react with grace. You’ll get back on the horse sooner.
If you set your goals to eat healthier, and you have eaten half of a bag of chips, give yourself grace, throw out the other half, and get back on the horse.
If you set your goals to read your Bible daily, and miss a day, give yourself grace, and get back on the horse. Self-condemnation and guilt will add to the loss. If you react with grace, reminding yourself that you want to, you will be more likely to find time later in the day, and return to your faithful schedule the next morning.
With all important areas of discipline, if we set rigid expectations, it can become a have to. We should be doing them because we want to. Light the fire with desire. If you desire to be disciplined, and exercise grace when you fail, it will increase your desire to be disciplined.