A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls (Proverbs 25:28)
Growing up as a child the idea of self-discipline was a rather foreign concept. Don't get me wrong I had several people in my life hounding the importance of self-discipline, but you never really get it until it becomes just that "SELF"-discipline.
In highschool I learned to implement certain principles into my life such as a quiet time with the Lord, managing temper, not watching too much television, etc. I had discipline in the areas of working out and being healthy due to being in athletics, I wouldn't call that self-discipline because it was mandatory not optional.
When I went off to college many things became inconsistent. I can honestly say I was NOT self-disciplined. My sleeping patters were sporatic, my eating habits were incredibly unhealthy, my workout routine became limited at best almost non-existent, quiet times were often done in a sleepy haze or rushed because of class, many strongholds from the enemy were allowed to run my thought processes without confrontation... etc. I could go on, but we'll stop.
As college rolled on I began to make more and more things disciplined in my life starting with my times with the Lord, sleeping patterns, and reclaiming areas of my life that had been taken over by, well let's be honest, laziness and immaturity.
When I followed the leading of the Lord back to Liberty I had many mixed emotions about teaching, coaching, and returning to my hometown, but I saw opportunity here. Opportuntiy for redemption in many areas of my life including self-discipline. Liberty is where many people reside that are true examples of self-discipline and have a huge influence on my life including my Dad, Coach Stroud, my pastor and Mrs. Laurie, and several others.
Among these influences I found encouragement to really discipline my life. I began waking up every morning between 4-5a to spend intimate time with the Lord, I committed to and completed reading the Bible in 90 days, I began running everyday and completed a half-marathon, I worked on cleanliness in my house and office, I worked on taking back ground mentally against the enemy etc. Once again these aren't all the areas that need/needed work, but these were my starting places.
I think that I began to view self-discipline as an achievement rather than a journey. After all I had "achieved" discipline in major areas in my life (please note sarcasm). Then there was this one day...
On this particular day I overslept until 6:15 am, when I arose late I didn't feel like reading the Word, so I didn't, I was too late for my morning workout (I run in the morning and do a workout afterschool) I came to work and I was overly hungry (I did avoid this temptation), a student lied to me which really challenged me to lose my temper, and so the day went on minute by minute my self-discipline being attacked. This is when I realized we don't achieve self-discipline... we journey.
Self-discipline is a daily choice to put our flesh into submission. Self-discipline covers a large and broad area that range from spiritual, physical, and mental things in our life that need to be run by the Spirit. Telling your body how it is going to live rather than it telling you.
I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the areas of your life that need to be put into submission. We don't achieve a point where discipline will not be tempted, but we do come to a point where being disciplined comes more naturally. I don't still battle whether or not I will workout today, I will, I don't have to wonder if I'll read the Bible or spend time in prayer, I will, I don't have to wonder if I'll eat until I"m so full I want to vomit, I won't, and the list could go on... As we begin to discipline our body it gets easier and easier with time.
It's time to let our flesh know that our Spirit runs things in this body.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." 1 Corinthians 9:24-27