Discipline and Accountability
Athletics have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up playing and competing in everything I could. It didn’t matter what it was, football, basketball, checkers, chess, Atari, marbles, etc… I wanted to win no matter what. Playing against two younger brothers forced me to never let down, to always give me best, because there was no way I was going to lose to my little brothers – in anything! I learned more about life through athletics than anything else. It taught me hard work, discipline, teamwork, dedication and to get up when I got knocked down. I carried this discipline with me into my jobs, my coaching, and throughout my life. These principles impact every business, church, government and marriage.
Jim Collins, business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth, said that “a culture of discipline is not a principle of business, it is a principle of greatness.” Organizations struggle with discipline and accountability just like many who struggle personally with diet and exercise. However, without discipline and accountability, optimal results are difficult to achieve, personally or corporately.
The apostle Paul discusses self-discipline in his letter to the Corinthian church. As the Greeks had the Olympic Games, they were very familiar with the rigors of athletic training, especially if one wanted to win the ‘prize’ or the ‘crown’. Paul makes the analogy of living a Christian life to an athlete in training: “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” 1 Corinthians 9:25 ~NLT. Paul goes on to say this vs. 27, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.” Paul is showing us how self-control is needed to win the race that is before us and to live the life that is “holy and pleasing to God.” For Paul, the ‘race’ was winning souls for Christ.
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, help us to be men and women of great disciple. Help us to set up personal disciplines that improve our relationship with You, our marriages and our careers. Help us to live a life that’s honoring and pleasing to you. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”