I would like to imagine, that in answer to the question in the title, those who know me are thinking “Nothing you are perfect”, but I have a feeling that they are eagerly shouting “where shall we start?” instead. So I’m going to narrow it down for you.
There are a lot of things that I know, but I don’t always follow the path of knowledge. I apologise, this will most likely read like a rant because it is. I am frustrated with my own lack of discipline and as I put pen to paper I am determined to find the cause of this as well as a solution.
I was late for church this morning. I was late because I was up late. I was up late because I decided to start playing around with my hair for about 2 hours at about 1.30am in the morning. At that time I knew I had church in the morning, I thought to myself I better not do my hair or I won’t get up on time. Then I did my hair and didn’t get up on time.
(Note: all this was after I had spent all day drafting this post on not doing the right thing, when I know better)
The narrative above is to highlight this habit of knowing the sensible thing to do and then still not doing it that I seem to have developed. I literally see the situation, think to myself, you should probably do this and then I don’t do it. It makes no sense to me, how a person can figure out the best option and then not do it. Yet that is what I do over and over again. It started with the little things like getting to bed on time when I was a kid, but it seems that I am approaching more and more areas of my life with this attitude (if that’s what you call it).
Fretting about this habit might seem silly, but I don’t like what it says about me. It says that I am undisciplined. It says that I lack self control and seeing as self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4 - 11) this is a major problem in my opinion. Going to heaven when I die is a major focus of my life (I wish I could say it was the only one, but one day…). To get to heaven I need this discipline.
The bible says there’s a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 8), so for me doing the right thing at the right time counts as righteousness. There is no point in being able to figure out what the right thing to do is and if I don’t actually do it. I might as well not have figured it out in the first place, at least then I would have the excuse of ignorance to soothe my conscience.
Even in daily life the fact that I have goal after goal after goal, from running my own business, to writing my book, to learning to cook practically every food from culture after culture makes this all the more problematic. As you can imagine just achieving even one of these things requires hard work, dedication and more than a dash of discipline. So why can’t I just always do the sensible and right thing?
Some would say that it’s the flesh battling against the Spirit. I agree with that, but I think it’s more than that. It’s just plain dumb. In my humble opinion if someone had brought this problem to me, I would say that it shows more than a lack of discipline, but it shows a lack of wisdom. Why would anyone knowing what the right thing to do and then choose not to do it? It makes no sense to me. So it seems I am forced to then bring down the same judgment on myself.
The question now is how do I fix it? The bible says that “wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4: 7) and James 1: 5 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” So my solution must be to go to the Lord in prayer and pray for wisdom. The thing is I have being praying for wisdom for a long time and wisdom has got me to the point where I realise that when you know the right thing to do, do it. How do I follow through?
This issue has put me in precarious situations that I have had to claw my way out of. Sometimes God has delivered me unscathed and other times my stubbornness and disobedience has left me with consequences I simply have to live with. I am at a point where I am determined that this cannot continue. I can’t know the right thing to do, then not do it, and then beat myself up for being so stupid. I feel like I constantly trying to figure out a way to fix the consequences of my actions.
A man much wiser than I described such an adamic problem in Romans 7: 15 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” So it does make a little better to know I’m not the only person to have experienced this. Well hopefully, I doubt the whole chapter was written with just me in mind, though it's not impossible. God is that good. If you keep reading through Romans 7 Paul goes on to point out the solution in verse 25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So I turn to Him that has continually turned all my problems into testimonies and I ask that he give me the grace to conquer the flesh and he bestow upon me His divine wisdom. And I have faith that He will deliver me through Jesus Christ our Lord.