We may not be addicted to narcotics but probably most people have some form or another of compulsive behaviour, some habit we find hard to break.
Like eating. Constant snacking. Huge portions we don’t need. We know it’s unhealthy but seem helpless in the grip of a ridiculous appetite.
We need a ‘better high’ than the next bun or bag of crisps. We need to discover the joy and freedom of self- discipline.
All joking aside, it’s worth it when we can jog up steps without feeling we’re about to have a heart attack, when we can put on clothes and they actually fit, when we can look in the mirror and think, ‘Well, it used to look much worse.’!
For many, not eating between meals or after 7pm and some regular exercise might be all that’s required to make a significant difference. But the battle is won or lost first of all not in our stomachs or in the gym but in our minds. We have to want this more. We have to believe we can be better.
The New Testament teaches that Christians have been set free from the compulsive habits of sin and empty ‘comfort’ religion. (Galatians 5 v 1) At the cost of our Lord’s life on the cross no less. (1 Peter 1 v 18-19) One of the ‘fruits’ of being filled and led by the Spirit of the risen Jesus is cited as ‘self-control’. (Galatians 5 v 22-23) This means the strength of character and ability to practice a little discipline. (1 Corinthians 6 v 19-20)
And in day-to-day practice, prayerful discipline is the path to freedom.
Freedom in all things.