“No person is free who is not master of himself.” ― Epictetus: (AD 50 – 135) was a Greek-speaking Stoic philosopher)
Scripture Text: (HEB 12:4-7, 11-15)
Brothers and sisters:
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.
You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.
Endure your trials as "discipline";
God treats you as his sons.
For what "son" is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.
Strive for peace with everyone,
and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God,
that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble,
through which many may become defiled.
Who among us like discipline? This is not the discipline of our earthly father, but that of our heavenly Father. When we know we need to change, there's an internal stress within our hearts, the old person trying to let the new person come out. The change doesn't feel natural, so it's easy to go back to our old ways of doing things. It requires a different way of thinking, development of willpower and faith that we can accomplish this new goal. The best way I know how to do this is to invite God into my being and let him take control. I ask Him to change me, and somehow He accomplishes just what he wants to happen.