I Lack Discipline

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De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hi all,

One thing I have really struggled with in my life is a lack of discipline. On the surface, no one would realize. I seem to have a good job, a nice family, etc. And I do. But I truly lack discipline and self-control, and I also tend to be lazy. I have really started to notice this in my diet. For years I was an avid runner which hid my poor eating habits. Now that I work full time, am married, have a child, etc. I don't exercise nearly enough. I struggle with self-control when it comes to my eating. I lack self-discipline and I overeat. I worry that someday I may get diabetes or some other condition and it will have been preventable. I have gained weight and also lost energy. This effects my sleep, my relationship with my wife and child, and others.

I also lack discipline to do daily bible reading and prayer. The spirit may be willing, but my mind is lazy. I can say all the right things. Like "I'll get up and read my bible early in the morning" but just like with physical exercise my laziness takes over. Even for years, I have dealt with nagging doubts regarding my personal assurance of faith, and I believe I have lacked the diligence and hard work required to overcome that. I don't blame God, or demonic forces, just my lazy flesh.

One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Discipline is intricately woven into that. I lack both. I am looking for any helpful advice and would appreciate your prayers. I am really noticing that of the "world, flesh, and the devil", my flesh is waging strongly against me, and I want to overcome it for the sake of my own spiritual health, physical health, familial health, etc.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi all,

One thing I have really struggled with in my life is a lack of discipline. On the surface, no one would realize. I seem to have a good job, a nice family, etc. And I do. But I truly lack discipline and self-control, and I also tend to be lazy. I have really started to notice this in my diet. For years I was an avid runner which hid my poor eating habits. Now that I work full time, am married, have a child, etc. I don't exercise nearly enough. I struggle with self-control when it comes to my eating. I lack self-discipline and I overeat. I worry that someday I may get diabetes or some other condition and it will have been preventable. I have gained weight and also lost energy. This effects my sleep, my relationship with my wife and child, and others.

I also lack discipline to do daily bible reading and prayer. The spirit may be willing, but my mind is lazy. I can say all the right things. Like "I'll get up and read my bible early in the morning" but just like with physical exercise my laziness takes over. Even for years, I have dealt with nagging doubts regarding my personal assurance of faith, and I believe I have lacked the diligence and hard work required to overcome that. I don't blame God, or demonic forces, just my lazy flesh.

One of the fruits of the spirit is self control. Discipline is intricately woven into that. I lack both. I am looking for any helpful advice and would appreciate your prayers. I am really noticing that of the "world, flesh, and the devil", my flesh is waging strongly against me, and I want to overcome it for the sake of my own spiritual health, physical health, familial health, etc.
I have struggled in similar ways in my life and still do at times. I will be praying. Sometimes it takes just forcing yourself to do things to form good habits. Lots of prayer and exposure to the means of Grace will also help, but one other thing I heard on this board recently was to pray for God to make them more effectual in your life. In addition to your wife, I find that having and doing stuff with good Christian friends, like a Bible study, can also help, iron sharpens iron.
 

Joshua

Administrator
Staff member
What time does work start? What time does the rest of your family get up?

Get up earlier than them. Enough time to red your Bible, pray, and meditate. Get to bed at a decent hour to make this more feasible. Sacrifice sleep until you get into that habit. It has been my experience that better eating results in requiring less sleep (but this is merely anecdotal). The going to bed earlier and rising earlier than others is a timing thing. It gives you the time mentally to prepare and start your day with the LORD. Then your preparation for family worship can sort of be comprehended within that time. If there is a place where you can be alone, this is all the better. When you rise, truly, rise. Sit up. Don't lie in bed to read. This time will -with the LORD's blessing- will become very sweet and precious to you. Even when you've lost evening hours, still rise early. Make a habit out of it such that you no longer require an external alarm clock.

These are just suggestions (timing, diet, etc.), but I have found the practice of going to bed by 10ish and being up before 5 to be very helpful with regard to the discipline of reading, meditation, and prayer. The diet part just helps you mentally and physically. Work hard during the day. Make recreation very moderate, and spend time with your wife and child, maybe doing things which are physical, and will help you tire for a good night's sleep. The most important thing you must do -without which none of the other things mean squat- is to ask the LORD, who promises to give you His Holy Spirit, and wisdom, just for the right asking of such. Take hold of that promise by faith, even when you can't sense it, and press on, exhausting yourself in the means, trusting Him to increase the sense of it in His due time, and at His good pleasure.
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
My pastor had the sermon actually not that long ago. He was saying on how easy it is to sit back, and watch hours of youtube...movies. Go to a friends house (alone or with the family) and talk about non Godly things (not evil, just not religion related) for hours. But then, picking up your bible, getting on your knees is a very, very trying fight. Your mind races through responsibilities of the day (day coming and day past). You think of what you should have responded to someone during a disagreement, what's for supper, and the list goes on.

I completely identify with this. I have much on my plate as well, however, when I do read...I have to be away from the computer. Otherwise, I'll go down that rabbit hole. I have to read on our couch. I ONLY watch Netflix or Prime when my wife is with me, so that's not a temptation. I just have to get away from the computer.

It's bigger than discipline brother, it's a fight.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
One of the puritans once said (I'm paraphrasing...):
The glutton feeds the very flesh that is warring against his spirit. The believer's natural reaction to this should be fasting and prayer.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
What time does work start? What time does the rest of your family get up?

Get up earlier than them. Enough time to red your Bible, pray, and meditate. Get to bed at a decent hour to make this more feasible. Sacrifice sleep until you get into that habit. It has been my experience that better eating results in requiring less sleep (but this is merely anecdotal). The going to bed earlier and rising earlier than others is a timing thing. It gives you the time mentally to prepare and start your day with the LORD

About five years ago, I got so disgusted with my ways that it prompted me to get serious about seeking the Lord. Of course, I now see it was the Lord seeking me. Without telling you all the false starts and falling asleep, even while reading the Bible, I will fast-forward to the conclusion--where I am today.

Now, like a tree on top of a windy mountain, I am bent and wake up automatically no later than 3 a.m. Every day. 365 days a year. I simply can't stay in bed past that. I spend the next 3+ hours with the Lord, and often He wonderfully reveals himself to me and gives me that joy of the Lord that gives real purpose to life. I'm 68 years old, and it took me 40 years to get to this point. I sacrificed a lot to get here. But the fight was worth it, and the old warfare has ended, and new warfare begun. I have the time to read commentaries cover-to-cover. Now I can pray in the Spirit, I hope, with some power with God.

Fight like your life depends on it. Because it does.

I'll now pray for you.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
About five years ago, I got so disgusted with my ways that it prompted me to get serious about seeking the Lord. Of course, I now see it was the Lord seeking me. Without telling you all the false starts and falling asleep, even while reading the Bible, I will fast-forward to the conclusion--where I am today.

Now, like a tree on top of a windy mountain, I am bent and wake up automatically no later than 3 a.m. Every day. 365 days a year. I simply can't stay in bed past that. I spend the next 3+ hours with the Lord, and often He wonderfully reveals himself to me and gives me that joy of the Lord that gives real purpose to life. I'm 68 years old, and it took me 40 years to get to this point. I sacrificed a lot to get here. But the fight was worth it, and the old warfare has ended, and new warfare begun. I have the time to read commentaries cover-to-cover. Now I can pray in the Spirit, I hope, with some power with God.

Fight like your life depends on it. Because it does.

I'll now pray for you.
When does your head hit the pillow at night?
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
When does your head hit the pillow at night?

About about 8:15 p.m. latest. It is a bit of a sacrifice. I don't get to go to bed or wake up with my wife anymore. She's OK with it, and although I work a lot I take time during the day to see my wife. If I still had young children I probably couldn't keep the same schedule. I would need to help my wife more at night. I try to eat dinner no later than 6:00 p.m., which is about 11:00 p.m. for me.
 

Chad Hutson

Puritan Board Freshman
2 Peter 1:3-11. God saves us and gives us everything we need to mature and progress in godliness. It's a process that doesn't end until glory! God gives us faith, then through diligence we strive to progress so we will not be unfruitful. It is indeed a fight, but fight we must! You have been given all you need but perhaps you aren't seeing it because you are "squinting" (v. 9). Pray for wide open eyes.
"I can't" and "I won't" are ugly twin sisters, both of whom are the offspring of the wicked stepmother, "I don't want to."
Praying for you, brother.
(BTW: in bed by 9, up by 5. Little or no TV.)
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
Reading of all the godly men in history who were early risers, and knowing how much more productive I feel when I’ve had to be up early, I’ve always wanted to be an early riser. But I’ve never been “a morning person”. I struggle to get up much before 8 no matter when I go to bed. Add to that we have 6 kids, I don’t get home after work until 6-7pm, so it is usually 10pm or so before the house is quiet enough for my wife and I to have time together.

If I could regularly run on 6 hours of sleep, I might be able to train myself to sleep 12-6am.
 

Joshua

Administrator
Staff member
Izaak, I also meant to mention the following, as it is a bane of our age. Take it and apply it where applicable, no presumption of your character on my part:

We live in an age where men, regrettably and especially in the church, are very effeminate and soft, and we're wedded far too strongly to our comforts. The world has obsessed over health and longevity to the expense of exhausting our bodies to the glory of God. Of course we need rest, but I do not think it's nearly as much as we're being pressed to. We want to get that extra 10-15-30-60 minutes of sleep in, rather than just spring up out of bed and get rolling. We'll clean up that dish later. We'll pick up that trash that is in our path the next go around. We'll do it ANOTHER TIME.

Rather, we should harvest the opposite kind of mentality, and be manly. And I'm not talking about some kind of machismo, but one of diligence, and refusal to take the easier path, especially with regard to things so petty. This requires training, especially in a world where we're constantly being pressed to cater to our flesh, even in things that can be lawful. It is my estimation that we need a measure of hardness that is very rare in this age, at least here in North America. We must not coddle the carnal and sensual, but rather subdue it. In failing so to do over my younger years, I am still suffering from excess weight and fatigue, though my current habits -for the most part- are not ones of excess. This is the LORD humbling me for my past disregard of diligence.

A healthy dose of this kind of refusal to cater to the flesh can be found throughout the Proverbs, with the contrast between the slothful man and the diligent man. The simpleton and the wise. So on, so forth. So there is a little bit of mental fortitude and "pep talk," if you will, that must go into this. The next time we're prone to give ourselves leave to "take a break," or put something off, or stay in that bed a little longer, or that hot shower for a few more minutes, let us deny such things. These principles do not apply only to men. I believe they are applicable to all Christians, and the a woman being feminine does not necessarily mean she's effeminate. It's a kind of passivity and carnal flesh-pleasing we must learn to deny, and -on those occasions God has provided for us to enjoy recreation, leisure, feasting, etc.- to use such to His glory, to be refreshed, and usher us back to our duty.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks, Josh. I needed that.

(I also flashed back to those Mennen Skin Bracer commercials of the early 70s.)
 

Joshua

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks, Josh. I needed that.

(I also flashed back to those Mennen Skin Bracer commercials of the early 70s.)
Don't we all need such reminders, even if we're attempted regular engage-rs of it? I know I do. The flesh does not give up this side of glory, and will paint its bratty self as a bringer-of-compassion to "tired" souls. I find self-shaming (in this regard) to be a good corrective for this attitude. I also just take a look at the indulgent antifa cry babies and think to myself, "That's where this road leads to, bud."
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Junior
I sacrificed a lot to get here. But the fight was worth it, and the old warfare has ended, and new warfare begun.

I feel a little convicted about my post--like I was bragging a bit. I want you all to know that not every morning is heaven on earth. I still have the endless war with sin and half-heartedness in seeking God. But I still gotta tell you that some mornings it is hard to believe I am still on earth. It is this real fellowship with the wonderful Trinity that fuels my efforts and my rewards are ALWAYS greater than what I deserve. God is never a debtor and His love passeth understanding.

Just for fun:
My wife thinks I am nuts, but on vacations, I plop myself fully dressed (except shoes) in the hotel bathtub with my Galaxy tablet and earphones for my devotions. :)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
My wife thinks I am nuts, but on vacations, I plop myself fully dressed (except shoes) in the hotel bathtub with my Galaxy tablet and earphones for my devotions. :)

I wash my clothes in the sink while traveling. Looks like you've taken multitasking to a new level!
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Make a habit out of it such that you no longer require an external alarm clock.
I tried waking up early (4:30 AM) to an alarm for years to get in decent Bible study time. I found myself continually exhausted and walking around like a zombie. It affected my work, enjoyment in life, and self-defeatingly my Bible study as lack of sleep impacts your memory.

One thing to remember is our sleep is not uniform throughout and interrupting sleep cycles with an alarm has profound impacts. I'd echo Josh/Ed and advise you to determine when you want to wake up and go to bed accordingly so you wake up around that time and allow your body to get the rest it needs (as designed by God). I have my alarm set to a later time as a precaution to avoid being late for work - however so far, it has only gone off once in the last several months.

Since I've taken this approach, I feel FAR BETTER and driven to take on challenges and tasks.

Regarding your diet, cut out refined sugar. This will be incredibly challenging because sugar is incredibly addictive. I might suggest feeding your sugar craves with natural sugars via fruit. Once you get off sugar (which as with any addiction usually lasts about 3 days), this will likely help 1) flatten your energy levels (eliminating the sugar crashes) and 2) help with weight loss since sugar is quickly absorbed by your body into fat.

:2cents:
 
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