I was standing in line at Wendy's. The guy taking orders concerned me. Tattoos covered his arms and neck. Multiple piercings punctuated the walking billboard that he had become. Long, stringy, oily hair fell across his face and I began to fear that he might be the one who would prepare my food.
Q: Was I wrong to have these concerns? Was it illogical for me to assume that he would apply the same level of discipline to my hamburger that he uses on his own grooming and hygiene?
Matthew 7:20 (NKJV)
"...by their fruits you will know them."
Note to the undisciplined: It matters not how strongly you disagree. No amount of political correctness will ever change the fact that your appearance speaks long before you are ever heard. Look like the person you want others to see. Your first impression (appearance) is a lasting one.
In a culture given over to blind tolerance and entitlements, a message such as this is very unpopular. Yet the fruit of self-control is the very cornerstone of all Christian virtues. We live in a broken world. In order to rise above that dysfunction, our top priorities must include hard work and personal responsibility. They must be revered, recognized, rewarded, and renewed daily.
This year, I've set a personal goal to become more disciplined for the Lord. I don't want the world to look at me and see a tree that bears the fruits of laziness, self-absorption, and poor spiritual hygiene.
I know that developing a life of self-control will require hard work. I recognize the importance of being determined and dedicated to the goal. In order to keep me focused, I've written a short poem that I plan to use as my personal pep talk throughout the year. I've posted it on my bathroom mirror and I would be flattered to hear that you have done the same.
You and I are called to serve the most important food of all time. We deliver the Bread of Life. When folks stand across the counter from us, what do they see? Do our self-absorbed decorations shout so loudly that they are unable to see the Lord through our personal glare? Do they fear the meal we give them because our poor spiritual hygiene is nauseously obvious? What does our level of personal control say about our love for the Lord?
1 Corinthians 9:27 (NKJV)
"I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified."
This year I would like to challenge you to join me on this journey toward a restrained life. May every movement, every word, every decision demonstrate the practical, provable Christian advantage! Let's make it real!
A few telling characteristics of the undisciplined:
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