Discipline or Freedom
Whether it starts as a young child or later in life, sometime in our life we must learn to discipline ourselves. So many lives have been ruined by uncontrolled desires. There seems to be an increased desire for more thrills, more indulgence and more possession of material things.
The crazy thing about discipline is that it seems, in modern times, to carry somewhat of a negative connotation. Many people of our present age seem to think that discipline is done at an expense of limiting our freedom. We think that the more discipline that is done, the more individual freedom is lost. However, if we stop to think about it intelligently, freedom and discipline are not trade-offs. There can, in fact be high freedom, coupled with a high amount of discipline. In fact, freedom happens when we voluntarily impose self-discipline, when we set goals, when we impose order on ourselves.
Self-discipline is essential for self-renewal and we need to renew ourselves spiritually, emotionally and mentally. The great majority of us go through our lives only partially exercising our abilities. Getting to know ourselves is one of the most difficult things we can do -as well as the most inconvenient. We spend much of our time running away from ourselves. The author John Gardner said, “More often than not, we don’t want to know ourselves, don’t’ want to depend on ourselves, don’t want to live with ourselves. By the middle of life most of us accomplished fugitives from ourselves.”
If we have no discipline, there will be no order in our lives. The most self-reliant human beings will always be self-disciplined. The higher the self-discipline, the higher will be his moral and spiritual condition. As we start a new year, please take some time for personal reflection. Hopefully, the personal reflection will create some self-mastering – the ability to govern ourselves properly through self-discipline – the only road to true freedom.
Pastor Hans Lillejord