The news surrounding Adrian Peterson and the alleged abuse of his child is saddening. I do not want to comment on or write specifically about the Peterson case. But his case has brought the spotlight on discipline. It is discipline that I want to comment on.
Discipline is a good thing. The bible talks quite a bit about discipline. It encourages parents to discipline their children. Without any discipline the child will be lost. In Proverbs 13:24 it says “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Discipline is always done in love. If not, then it’s something other than discipline.
Think about all the ways a good athlete disciplines his mind and body. A basketball player disciplines himself to stay low in his defensive stance even though his leg muscles are tired. A golfer disciplines himself to keep his head down on the swing. Focusing on the present moment and forgetting the error you just made, getting up while it is still dark out and going on a run, sacrificing in order to achieve your goals – all these take discipline.
Discipline is like anything else; we can take a good idea and ruin it. Some, in order to shed pounds and be a lighter, more agile athlete, discipline themselves to eat less, but wind up with a dangerous and unhealthy eating disorder. A dedicated baseball player can show discipline by spending hours in the weight room only to overtrain and hurt his arm.
Discipline is a good thing. Without it we’d all be lost. It is not always comfortable or easy, but the results are well worth it.