And I was charity shop browsing yesterday with my wife who was looking for new work clothes. We’ve recently got into this, because we really enjoy playing board games with guests…but we don’t have many games. So one friend advised us that we shouldn’t buy games brand new, because their so expensive instead get them second hand. One thing lead to another and now my other half is exploring the novelty of cheap clothes.
Anyway, whilst she tries on a multitude of dresses, tops, trousers etc…I’m looking through the bookshelves seeing if there is anything that might be interesting (either Star Wars or theology/leadership)… I spot “the Power of Habit”.
Recently I’ve been complaining to myself about how un-disciplined and inconsistent my life seems to be. It’s not so much that I’m not exercising, or not waking up early, its that I’m really struggling to pin it down for longer than two weeks. I’ll go a few weeks reading my Bible at 5am and then stop, or go really intense in my exercising and then stop. It’s probably why “the power of habit” caught my eye.
Later that day, I’m in Starbucks reading a different book “how people grow”… and I get to a part that talks about where a husband had a control issue with his wife – always trying to control her happiness. And he learnt to yield it to God. It’s a bit confusing unless you read the details, but at some point the authors write:
Self control was the fruit of giving up the God role and regaining the human role of yielding
In your work with people, you have to be a funeral director…[showing them that] all their efforts have not worked, and they need to die to trying…
So I’m left thinking how do I die to trying to be self-disciplined, and rather rely on God’s gift of grace to allow me to be Self Disciplined. I’m thinking that Self Discipline is a fruit of the Spirit, and therefore not a result of self-effort (even if that’s confusing because of the name). Therefore I need to admit to God my inability to be truly self-disciplined, and ask Him to pour out His grace to me.
All of this to say that I’m learning my God does not drive us into action but draws us into following Him.