Discipline, Dedication, Habits

Preaching Magazine Illustrations

In a recent edition of his daily newsletter, Rick Warren wrote: “Sometimes I don’t feel like being nice to everyone. I don’t feel like doing the unselfish thing. I want to just lie on the couch and watch TV. I don’t want to do one more thing today. I don’t want to handle another problem. But just because I don’t feel like it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.

This will really shock you: Sometimes I don’t feel like praying or reading my Bible. But I do it. I’ve found that if the only time I pray is when I feel like it, the Devil makes sure I never feel like it. If the only time I read my Bible is when I feel like it, the Devil makes sure I never feel like it. Maturity is when you live your life by your commitments, not by your feelings.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are willing to do what unsuccessful people don’t feel like doing. They develop habits. They stay committed. You don’t get to the Olympics because you feel like it. You get to the Olympics by hours and hours of training that you didn’t feel like doing. You don’t become a master musician without hours and hours of rehearsal that you probably didn’t feel like doing all the time.

In the same way, you don’t become a godly man or woman by simply doing what you feel like doing. Godly men and women choose to develop the habits that produce godliness in their lives. It’s not any easier than working out or dieting or rehearsing or anything else that may be good for you but you don’t feel like doing.

How do you develop this kind of persistence? The key is to look not at your problem but at the Lord.”