What to love about discipline

Most of us recognize the need for discipline in our lives, but we don't always love the kind of demands usually associated with discipline.

It takes a strong exercise of self-discipline to moderate some of the activities in our lives that deserve tempering. Perhaps we consistently eat too much—but we don't love discipline as well as we think we love the food! And then there are some who get carried away with credit card spending! Or are we one of those who can't seem to buckle down to consistent daily study? Or maybe we sleep too much. It takes a genuine firmness to put those early morning hours to active use. And sometimes it's the children. We know the importance here of proper discipline, but too often its use includes the hurt feelings, tears, and even anger. It may be easier for Mom to pass the job to Dad—and then for Dad not to get the job done.

Since discipline is important, even essential, both for individuals and for society, why the reluctance? What is it that's distasteful? It is a misunderstanding of the source of discipline. Discipline is an extremely valuable moral quality that has its roots in spirituality. But the human tendency is to plant those roots in materiality.

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Centering on God
September 25, 1978

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