What is the best definition of self-discipline? Webster’s dictionary defines self-discipline as, ” the ability to make yourself do things that should be done.”
Do you have self-discipline? This type of behavior will often be destroyed and disappear when
- you are asked to take on overwhelming projects
- you are convinced to head up an “important program”
- you are asked to attend a meeting on a day that you simply do not have the time to do so.
The list goes on and on!
If you are among those whose knee-jerk response is to say yes, when you should have said no, you will find yourself to be frustrated, overwhelmed, distracted and ineffective in your work.
To avoid this, it will call for two simple questions to be answered.
- “What is healthy self-discipline? and
- How do we develop self-discipline?”
Healthy Self-Discipline Tips
First, there is power in saying no!
However, many struggle to do this. It can be awkward to deny requests or turn people down. Many of us are conditioned from birth to please others and do what is asked of us. Additionally, we like to be liked and want to be helpful. Superimpose on that a daily routine already over-booked and you have a recipe for ultra-high stress and the “spread-too-thin” syndrome.
We often suffer when we push ourselves to do what the limited resource of time will not allow. Instead of being convinced to do more, exercise the power of saying no.
Jesus and the Power of Healthy Self-Discipline
Jesus said no to people, ideas, temptations, distractions and more. For example, in Mark 1:35-38, he turned down a request to heal the people who needed a miracle. He stated that His mission called for something else. He wasn’t rude about it; He simply said no to keep His focus and carry out His plan for that day.
- no to a young man who wanted to follow Him (Luke 8:38-39)
- no to His mother on an occasion when she nearly interrupted His teaching (John 2:3-4)
- no to the devil (Luke 4:1-13), and even
- no to Himself (Mark 14:36).
Do Not Allow the Lack of Self-Discipline to Take Over
If you feel bad about saying no, try these phrases:
- “Not now”
- “I will have to pass on this” or
- I cannot handle that now.”
It may not be popular to say no but if you bend over backward too often, you may eventually break. Stop draining yourself and your resources for people or situations that will not help in attaining your goals. Take a page out of Jesus’ approach and stay on task.
An ancient proverb says, “One cannot manage too many affairs: like many pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the others.”
Make the most of your time! Say no to those who are tossing extra pumpkins your way!
3 Self-Discipline Quotes to Remember
“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” ~ Proverbs 25:28
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of your time…” Eph. 5:15-16a
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” ~2 Timothy 1:7