Letting Good Things Run Wild

leadership freedomI’m always amazed when people approach discipline and freedom as opposite ends of a spectrum. As if discipline restricted freedom and freedom was by definition void of discipline. If they must be opposites, they’re opposite sides of the same coin. I believe any other view dilutes – if not destroys – them both.

Discipline generates and maintains freedom. If we eat well and exercise, we’re free to live a healthy, active life. If my 3-year-old always stops at the curb, he’s free to run ahead of me.

Likewise, freedom without discipline is chaos. If I don’t maintain my calendar I miss appointments I care about. If I don’t clean my room, I can’t find what I need when I need it.

One of my favorite authors, G.K. Chesterton, shares this gem about Christianity in his masterpiece, Orthodoxy, and I think it applies to discipline as well:

…the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.

The purpose of discipline is to let good things run wild. The next time you’re not “feeling it” – whether its sticking to your diet, getting up to run, meeting with an accountability partner, confronting a coworker, or enforcing a standard – remember the purpose of discipline. Fix your eyes on the good things that your discipline will set free.

What discipline do you struggle with the most?

What good things does it unleash?

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