Think about all the things we want most out of life:
- True friendships
- A fit body
- Skills or knowledge people praise
- A meaningful worship experience
- A healthy marriage
- Successful children
These are usually very costly and require extreme patience.
The greatest threat to what you want most—which is expensive and slow—are other things you want that are cheap and fast.
- Impulse buying
- Making vain impressions
- Overeating and being lazy
- Lack of discipline to stick to an area of study or practice
- Constant noise and no solitude
- A marriage that ignores problems and refuses to admit wrong
- Disengagement from the stresses of parenting
The most powerful method of self-denial I’ve known is to remember, in those moments when I’m exercising discipline, that I’m not depriving myself of something good. It’s exactly the opposite. I’m giving myself something much better.
I’m not missing out when I skip on the second piece of cake; I’m giving myself the gift of fitness a year from now. I’m not missing out when I save and invest my extra money; I’m giving myself a better future.
I’m not denying pleasure, I’m living for the deeper pleasure.