Skimming through Proverbs today, on the hunt for a different, less challenging passage, I found this one. This line especially, "He will die for lack of discipline," had me amen-ing and nodding even in the quiet of my living room.
This passage is about adultery, about the way a loose woman can pull a man off course, radically altering his ultimate destination. But the same can be said of many other tempting influences, voices calling from dark doorways, enticing us, convincing us to forsake the road we’re on for another.
Solomon says the reason we listen to these voices is a lack of discipline. We want to do what feels good, what’s temporarily satisfying, what’s simple. Discipline requires us to do what hurts, what’s hard, what’s satisfying later—maybe much later.
It’s easy to have an affair. It’s hard to make a marriage work every day for fifty years.
It’s easy to spend money recklessly. It’s hard to save.
It’s easy to sit on the couch, mindlessly check twitter, and watch episodes of Glee on Hulu. It’s hard to get up, clean the house, and study for class.
If I don’t do hard things, if I elect to make the easy choices, I’ll “die for lack of discipline.” And that’s no exaggeration. If I don’t have discipline I will ruin everything good in my life.
I know because I’ve seen it happen. Ten times in the past year alone. People handing over their beautiful lives full of joy and family and God, just handing them over to an addiction or a whim or a good feeling.
Discipline could have saved them. Indulgence, weakness, and immediate gratification did them in.