Business consultant, Jim Rohn, wrote, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
Discipline requires an upfront payment for a delayed payoff. Regret requires little investment with no future return. Only one choice provides a return on investment; but we are a short-sighted people who enjoy immediate gratification. Therefore, we often choose delayed regret rather than immediate discipline.
Remember: discipline weighs ounces, regret weighs tons.
The principle applies universally to every aspect of life: sleep, exercise, diet, alcohol, drugs, sexuality, education, work, marriage, parenting, friendship, and spirituality.
Christian disciples choose the pain of discipline.
My mother sewed clothes for my sister during childhood. She pinned cut fabric to McCall’s patterns. Mom used a Singer sewing machine to stitch the separate pieces into a whole garment. Paper, cloth, thread, scissors, pins, and needles magically combined to make beautiful clothing.
Patterns provide simple steps to successful outcomes. A graduated process leads to desired results. An old adage advises, “Plan your life, and live your plan.” Pick a pattern and follow the instructions.
Jesus Christ sets the pattern for Christian disciples. Romans 12:2 declares:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (NIV)
Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold. (JB Phillips)
Christians set their minds on things above, not earthly things. In order to do so, I recommend memorizing Philippians 4:8 and meditating on its meaning:
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
May the Holy Spirit enable us to obtain the mind and attitude of Christ.
Clergy joke that we observe Easter Sunday on Monday morning!
Lent culminated with a Holy Week of worship services, special meals, and egg hunts. Northside Church offered five worship services between 8:30 and noon on Easter morning. I spent Sunday afternoon with family before finally collapsing into bed.
I awoke on Monday, believing what I preached on Sunday! The Holy Spirit regularly reminds me to claim what I proclaim. Jesus Christ is risen, indeed.
The Gospel accounts vary, but Jesus appeared to his followers 40 days following the Resurrection. Paul provided the first written account in 1 Corinthians 15:4-8:
Jesus was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and he appeared to Cephas (Peter) and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, thought some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
His followers and friends did not always recognize Jesus. He identified himself by calling Mary’s name, breaking bread in Emmaus, and revealing his wounds to Thomas.
Let us claim and proclaim the Easter good news on days after the Resurrection. For those with ears to hear, the risen Lord calls our name. For those with eyes to see, Jesus Christ is with us in the breaking of bread. For those who struggle, the Savior shares our wounds.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!
Join us this Easter Sunday as we celebrate the good news of the Resurrection! Northside Church is offering five opportunities for worship:
- 8:30 Traditional Worship Sanctuary
- 9:00 Contemporary Worship Faith & Arts Center
- 9:45 Traditional Worship Sanctuary
- 10:30 Contemporary Worship Faith & Arts Center
- 11:15 Traditional Worship Sanctuary
The 8:30, 9:00, and 11:15 services will be live-streamed on the church’s website at http://www.northsideumc.org. Easter animals will be present before and after the services.
I look forward to worshipping together as we hear the ancient words that are forever new, “Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!”