I came across a Facebook post recently that said this:
“Each day you must choose: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
I found the quote rather intriguing so I decided to track down the source. With a few clicks on the keyboard I discovered that this statement was made by a former NFL coach. Perhaps it is not surprising that such a statement was rooted in the sports world, but it can apply elsewhere.
Discipline is tough and often something many of us try to avoid, if we can. But in sports and in life, short-term pain very often leads to long-term gain, right? To avoid the pain of discipline can lead to the pain of regret and the “what ifs” and “If only I hads” that comes with it.
The Webster dictionary definition of regret is: a feeling of sadness or disappointment about something that you did not do.
Regret is a painful look back at the choices we have made.
In 1 Corinthians 24-25, Paul talks about the importance of discipline by using the metaphor of running a race. He says:
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
Strict training may sound painful but that’s what’s necessary to run the race — a race that we are all running.
Paul is saying that we must discipline ourselves to not just run the race but also to run to win! We’re not running to win some plastic trophy or the blue ribbon (a prize that will not last). As Jesus followers we do it for an eternal prize. We run to honour and glorify the One who gave His life for us. That's why we run to win.
No regrets, because everything we do we do unto the Lord.
My prayer for each of us today is that we will make choices that don’t result in regret, but rather will be wise and honouring to God!