There was a time in my life I detested all pain. It was to be avoided at all costs. Certainly nothing good about it! Yet I discovered it could not be avoided. In addition, the Bible and psychology taught me pain has the potential of bringing about a better me.

But what about those younger years? We all have had and continue to have sources of EXTERNAL DISCIPLINE for life training — parents, teachers, coaches, employers. How grateful we can be if they encouraged us to make external discipline even a friend.

Later years showed me INTERNAL DISCIPLINE, called self-discipline, could even be a driving force in my life. It definitely lasts longer than external discipline. At NBC Camps we often tell our youth self-discipline can be your best friend or worst enemy, and it can be a tool to solve problems. What they do not know is self-discipline begins with mind management. My recent cancer and non-medical CV-19 attitude reiterate this. I am amazed I can have fresh newness in all my thoughts which produces growth in grace and character.

Now I am convinced God’s Word is true in Hebrews 12:5-11. It says no discipline is enjoyable when it is happening. Rather, it is a pain! But afterward there will be a harvest of right living for those who have been trained by it. Pain can be a life trainer! GODLY DISCIPLINE is simply a prelude to the touch of His healing hand. Hebrews 12 reminds us God is a loving father, and I can appreciate His loving correction. Then pain, along with a spiritual response, produces maturity.

Finally, we would think pain should make us weaker. However, I concur with St. Paul that the weaker I appear to be, the stronger I become. This is the pain paradox in II Corinthians 12:9-10. Indeed, it is a gift worth appreciating!

Personally, this mind management is working for me and elevating my self-discipline. I hope you find this true as well. Fortunate is the man God instructs and disciplines. It can enhance mind management with self-discipline.