I hated working out when I was in high school, but because I played sports I had to. My distaste for working out was really my distaste for discipline. I wanted to excel in sports and to excel in sports one needs discipline. (For the record I might have barely reached mediocre at the pinnacle of my “sports” career).
I had many friends who absolutely loved to work out, which would only shame me more with my half-heart attempts. My friend (and later college roommate) Chad Langston could work out for hours on end. He just loved it. I remember he was trying to encourage me to work out one day, and I just responded that I didn’t feel like working. What he said to has stayed with me ever since. He said, “You know, Graham, it is on the days that I don’t feel like working out that I get stronger when I choose to work out anyway”.
I have since related this with my pursuit of Godliness. According to Scripture bodily discipline is of some value, but Godliness is valuable in every way (1 Timothy 4:8). There are many days that I just don’t feel like reading Scripture. I don’t feel like praying. I don’t feel like doing the right thing. My feelings are about as dependable as Weatherman or Sport “Experts”.
Matt Chandler says that no one stumbles into Godliness. Godliness will never be an accident. We must train ourselves. We must discipline ourselves in spite of our feelings. Our affections are fickle and we must cultivate them to love the right things.
I have found that many times my affections are slow and must catch up with my actions. But if we wait until we feel ready then we will never get anything done. I do believe what my boy Chad said: that when we don’t feel like it and we do it anyway. we are indeed getting stronger.