AthleteWord: “The competitor’s greatest joy does not come from scoring points, but from being on the winning team”
Competitors train with discipline. In order to experience success they execute a plan that involves daily disciplines leading them toward their goals. But, what about the days when we lose motivation? Where does it come from? What keeps a competitor moving toward the goal?
- What has helped you stay motivated to train?
- What could be missing when your motivation to train diminishes?
In today’s reading Jesus sends His followers into the world on a mission. They have trained for this mission by watching their leader, but this mission is a continuation of their training. This is evident when Jesus’ followers return to review what occurred on the mission field. They are so excited to have experienced success. But Jesus reminds them where their motivation must be rooted in order to remain disciplined. Jesus says, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus reminds His followers that lasting motivation does not come from counting the fruits of our discipline but from remembering the roots of our discipline.
What does this story teach us about the motivation of discipline?
- Discipline is motivated by the hope of success. We commit to training because we believe it will help us reach our goals. Jesus sends His followers into the mission field with hope of great success. He says, “The harvest is plentiful.” Overflowing, abundant success is the expectation of the competitor’s discipline.
- Discipline is motivated by progress. Competitors train because they believe they will see progress. One more rep or one more pound on the bar is what a competitor hopes to see through his discipline. Jesus said, “The workers are few.” This motivates us to pray for opportunity to train more workers in the kingdom of God, but it also implies work is necessary to achieve God’s mission. Scripture teaches our labor is not the main reason we experience progress. Everything is a gift from God.
“It is the Lord’s blessing that brings wealth, and no hard work can add to it.”
Though this is true God designed effort to be the avenue He uses to bless us with success. This is why He calls the results of our discipline “fruit.” Progress motivates the competitor’s discipline, so they stay committed to hard work.
- Discipline remains motivated by identity, not by performance. The joy that keeps someone motivated must come from joy rooted in that which can never be removed. If we are motivated by our own performance, or the applause of others, our joy will fade. Jesus wants us to experience permanent joy so we can remain disciplined. This only comes from that which can never be lost.
When we commit to following Jesus He writes our names in the book of life. The only One who can erase it is the same One who wrote it down.
Be disciplined. Be disciplined to win. But let your discipline be rooted in the identity Christ has given you through His grace.
- Identify the areas of your life where you need to be more disciplined.
- How has progress served as a motivator for your discipline?
- How has your lack of progress, or lack of affirmation from others, affected your motivation?
- Has your name been written in the book of life? If so, praise God for His grace. If not – receive His gift today! Contact us if you are ready to take the next steps of obedience: chip@FAITHRXD.org