Discipline is defined as any training intended to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior. So why is it that we only think about using discipline to overcoming obstacles and challenges, when unbeknownst to most of us, it was the very thing we used to produce the challenge for ourselves in the first place?
What, wa-wa-what, say WHAT? Yes, think about it. I can imagine that for many of us who are out of shape and overweight there were and perhaps still are times when we knew and/or know that we needed to get up and get moving with an exercise plan, or knew in our hearts and minds that we shouldn't have eaten that food item – especially in the manor or amount in which you did. To be most clear, for the context of our discussion there a two kinds of "discipline"; productive and counterproductive.
The productive type of discipline is pretty evident, as explained in the opening of this writing. It takes a peeling back of few layers to understand the counterproductive form. It comes into play when at the start of a process, we become willing to over-ride the warning signals our soul is sending us. We train ourselves to ignore the warning and push pass the impulse that says, don't go there, until alas we prevail. This pattern of behavior describes discipline. And these actions done repetitively enough are what produce the ("Be Fat" characteristic) habits one unintentionally is left with.
I personally have had the experience of having to train myself and others not to workout. Let me explain - This is the right thing to do when one is either injured and shouldn't push pass the pain of the injury when exercising, even though you can. And in the situation where one is just starting out with exercising, and because the evidence of over exertion is delayed, one would tend to over exercise and become very sore in the days to follow as a result. For the exercise enthusiast, these scenarios have to be kept in check, or else! The funny thing is it takes as much, if not more discipline to do this as it does to be slothful. Now perhaps you see and understand that one has to use discipline (albeit the counterproductive sort) in order to pull off the above mentioned behaviors.
So with the management of either form of discipline in mind, the following is my recommendation for proper application: Take the authority found in the Word of God and feed your spirit (Romans 8:14) so that it (the word) is able to regulate and direct your mind, renewing it to the point of obedience to that "voice of warning" - The Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 28:12). This provides the best possible environment in which to conduct spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4); along with the restraint and punishment, if necessary, of our fleshly bodies (1 Corinthians 9:27) in order that we are able to glorify God with our life. Productive or counterproductive discipline, choose ye this day which one you will serve, I have.
Well that's my time for this time. If this subject interests you, please join me next time when I'll share more regarding the awesome benefits of getting and being fit God's way!
If you're not active exercise wise, remember to start slow and build from where you are; and see a doctor first if you have any level of a health challenge.
[Derrick is a licensed & ordained minister and graduate of Azusa World Ministry's Ministry Training Institute, as well as an AMF Certified Fitness Trainer & Sports Nutritionist, and owner of His Cross Training Fitness. You can contact him at (626) 524-5125 or email: derrick@HisCrossTraining. com.]