Mike Tyson was telling a story about his career and he talked about how everything changed when he worked with a specific trainer. It was this trainer that taught him discipline. Tyson said this trainer taught him “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but doing it like you love it.”
A meaningful reflection of Jesus can happen as we do the things we don’t prefer as things we love to do.
This quote is good on so many different levels.
1. It points to our approach — It shows that our attitude can override our feelings. We have the ability to do things we don’t like in a way that is beneficial for us. Worship is a great example. It’s easy to allow our feelings to dictate how and when we worship. Instead, our approach should be driven by the fact that God is always worthy of our worship. As we worship a worthy God, our feelings tend to catch up.
2. It points to the benefit of doing things that are hard — Spiritual breakthrough often come on the backside of saying “no” to ourselves. Fasting is the perfect example. Mark Batterson says “When we fast, God tends to lean in a little closer.” When we exercise our “no” muscle and participate in disciplined behavior that God says is good (for us), God responds and we experience His activity.
3. It points to importance of help — Mike Tyson found discipline through the help of a mentor who not only showed him the way, but walked the path with him. The Christian journey is not a solo mission. Who are the people in your life showing you the way and cheering you along the path? Who is that person you are intentionally pouring your life into in an effort to help them succeed as a follower of Jesus?
For a period of time, Mike Tyson was the best in the world. He didn’t arrive at the top by accident. He ascended the mountain because he put in the work along the path each day. He chose discipline and discipline led him to a place he could not get on his own.
Spiritual disciplines are the tools necessary to walk God’s path. We will not arrive by accident. It will happen as we give ourselves to the things He says are important. When we exercise the spiritual disciplines we dislike as if we love them, we will experience God’s presence and activity.
Keep Reflecting Jesus!