Website owner: James Miller
Often we are offered an easy way and a hard way, an easy path and a hard path. Often the hard path is the right path and the easy path the wrong path. Some people habitually take the right path even though it is the hard path. Many others usually take the easy path. Self-discipline. Doing what is right though it means taking the hard way and acting in opposition to my basic, natural desires and inclinations. Doing what I don't want to do; or not doing what I want to do. Denying fleshly appetites and desires. Not doing a thing that I would really like to do because conscience, prudence or common sense say I shouldn't do it; or doing something that I dislike doing because of a sense that I ought to do it. Self- discipline lies at the heart of character. A man of character is exercising self-discipline in almost everything he does all the time. His whole life is ruled and governed by it. Self- denial is a way of life for him. As he continually practices self-discipline in things his strength of character and willpower increase through constant use. For the man of character self-discipline shows itself in a thousand ways in all aspects of his personality. It permeates his personality and molds his personal habits. Examples of self-discipline: - getting up in the morning when I would really like to sleep - going to work when I hate my job and would like to stay home - refraining from eating too much or from eating certain things because I know they are bad for my health (even though I want them) - refusing to look at pornographic material or to look at or listen to anything that caters to lust knowing that it is spiritually destructive - censoring all that I read or watch on TV, refusing to read, watch or listen to trash; monitoring carefully the food I eat mentally and spiritually (since you "become what you eat") - emphasis on continual self-improvement. Studying to improve myself although I don't especially enjoy doing it. - refraining from drinking alcohol - Frugality. Monitoring your spending and spending only where necessary. - Honesty. Making yourself stick to the truth in dealings with other people. - Carefulness. Making yourself take the time required to do things properly (instead of taking the easy road of half doing it) - Courage. Making yourself do the right thing even though you are afraid and would really like to do the wrong thing. - Neatness. Taking the time to put everything back into its proper place. - refraining from all low, bad, profane or impure language - Dependability. Being scrupulous about doing what you have promised to do (where the easy way is to promise freely and then act as you please) - Unselfishness. Putting the other man first, acting in his interest, when the natural thing is to put yourself first and act in your own interest. - Humility. Putting yourself down when it is natural to raise yourself up. - Courtesy. Treating the other person well even though you may not feel like it, indeed may not even like him. - Chastity. Refraining from immorality when temptation tempts. - doing a job that you dislike immediately instead of procrastinating and leaving it for later The exercise of self-discipline plays a key role in the practice of Christianity. It is one thing to know what is right. It is another thing to do it. Faithfulness to God requires doing what is right. Doing what is right usually requires self-discipline. It is usually not the easy path but the hard path; not the thing we would like to do but the thing we know we should do. The exercise of self-discipline usually starts in childhood as a result of the promptings of conscience, a sense of what is right, and allegiance to God. As we make it our habit to do what is right, follow our conscience, we exercise self- discipline and with time our moral strength and character builds. We build good habits that help us in our commitment to doing the right thing. And, with continued practice and use, our powers of self-discipline and self-denial increase and become automatic, habitual, and natural for us. Feb 1989 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
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Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
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Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
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Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
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Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?