I am convinced that the key to gaining strength is by identifying and breaking our weakness. That can only be done through discipline to break ourselves of relentless pain and rebuild ourselves to create healing. Strength is not an idea but an act that must be learned.
My weakness is lazy satisfaction. It creeps in and I constantly have to fight it. For one example, I've been messy my whole life and only cleaned my room after weeks of mess. Now, I have to fight myself and give myself a pep talk to FINISH cleaning once I start. It's becoming easier the more I do it and I can't wait until these things that seem so hard are only second nature. My BIGGEST fear in being a wife/mother is cooking every meal of the day. for several hungry bellies. I barely make the effort to cook for myself and when I do, it's for "fun!" I asked my mom how she did it. She simply replied, "When you love someone, you want to cook for them. But there were years when I barely made meals at all from exhaustion." Basically, you just take it in stride. Hopefully, with a family comes the partnership of chores so one person doesn't have to do it alone.
Anyway, the reason I'm thinking about discipline is because I really want to get in shape and run a race coming up. Its a 5k (pretty much the easiest thing ever) but the most I've ever ran is maybe one mile. I did some basic stretching and realized how important it was. I haven't felt some of those muscles in months. How could I ever begin to run/exercise without knowing my body and preparing each one for the task to come? Whenever I exercise out of the blue (50 sit-ups and 20 pushups) I rarely stretch. It makes sense why my workouts are few and far between. I start with the end in mind (i.e. "when will this end?"). Instead I should start with the intention to break my body.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might....
There are a lot of people who make this process their religion. They are intense about the acts of discipline to build this strength. But these acts are primarily mental and physical. It does nothing to address the matters of the heart or soul. Discipline is not the primary but the secondary. It's a response to faith, not faith itself. We fix our eyes heavenward to continue the path of perseverance because we are created physical, emotional, spiritual beings.
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We all suffer from some kind of weakness we must break whether its laziness, apathy, discontent, mopiness, bad relationships, addictions, giving up, greed, selfishness, gossip, etc. aka what religious folk call "sin." Answering the call to awakening is the faith part. Discipline is the adventure. All are called but few will answer.
19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.