Tuesday: About Self Discipline

This Morning's Worship Song.


A Time to Clean: Day 12

It's easy when you feel overwhelmed to just ignore the problem - indefinitely. You walk into a room and the piles of clutter just seem too great. Or you open that closet door and you shudder at the thought of cleaning out the junk - even though you can barely push the door shut. It's easy to close the door {even figuratively speaking} and simply walk away and do something more pleasant.

But, does that really make your life easier? Is life more simple and less stressful when we ignore the problem at hand in favor of doing something that brings us comfort and enjoyment?

Probably not. In fact, I'd dare say, very rarely will ignoring a problem ever make the problem better... and it might even make the problem grow even bigger.


Self-discipline is basically doing what you know needs to be done even when you don't really feel like it. Not everyone struggles with self-discipline or struggles in the same way.

You might have self-discipline in some areas and struggle in other areas. Some of us like doing laundry. Others hate doing the dishes.

Clutter and messy piles of whatever {laundry, old books, dishes, etc.} are essentially decisions that have not been made. Chronic stacks of dirty dishes are the most basic - you have not made up your mind to just get it done. Maybe you feel overwhelmed because you didn't do it immediately and now every dish in the house is dirty. And so you avoid it.

Piles of paper on your desk mean you have not decided what needs to be filed and what needs to go into the trash. Too many clothes you no longer where means you have no made the decision to let things go - for whatever reason.

Self-discipline means make up your mind - make a decision - to go through the mess and get it done. Even when you don't really feel like it. True self-discipline - the kind that stays with you and is life changing - means you face those piles on a daily or otherwise frequent basis so the piles do not grow.

It's so much easier to clean a small pile than it is to clean a huge one. Just like I always say - It's easier to clean a tidy house than it is to clean a messy house.

I, in no way, have perfected the art of self-discipline. There are some things I try and avoid at all costs. But, I do know how much better I feel mentally and emotionally when I tend to my tasks as needed rather than when the small mess has turned into a mountain. And sometimes I wonder why I make life so much harder for myself when it would really be so much easier if I just always did what I know I should do.

Maybe you've wondered the same thing about yourself.

In the winter months we spend almost everyday - all day - in our downstairs family room. The room is cozy and warm because of the fireplace. It's our favorite place in the house - during the cold months.

We spend very little time in the family room during the spring and summer. The problem with that has been pretty consistent over the years. Our homeschool stuff is in the family room. So, for half of the school year we do most of our schoolwork in the family room. During the warmer months we just seem to prefer being upstairs in the living room where it's bright and sunshine streams through the windows. So, all of our school stuff gets carried around the house and stacked in other places and sometimes misplaced when it's not put back where it goes in the family room/ school closet/ desk/ bookcase.

I really want this to change.

I've lacked self-discipline in this area of my life for way too long. Sometimes you just have to force yourself to change if you want to see real change in your circumstances. It's not easy. I've done it before in other areas of my life and even in my personality and how I react to things. So this is an area I need to work on.

What area of your home/ life do you lack self-discipline? Identifying the problem is the first step in making lasting change. The Good News is that Jesus will help every step of the way!

Today's Goal

  • Think about which area of your life is most lacking in self-discipline. What steps do you need to take to make changes?
  • Remember that small steps of change will lead to greater success. Baby steps!
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • This week we're working in our Living Rooms and Family Rooms. Do as much as you can to fill a bag with clutter and clean these areas from top to bottom.
  • This week we want to continue with the routine of of going to bed with a clean kitchen, sparkling sink, and clear counters if you aren't in this habit already as well as making sure your bedroom is neat before you turn in at night.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it in our Facebook group and Instagram if you life - use hashtag #atimetoclean
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow, read tomorrow's lesson and spend time in prayer.

Do you struggle with self discipline? Maybe more so in some areas than others?