Why would anyone ever do anything difficult or pass up on something that feels good in the moment? The answer might seem obvious, because something greater awaits. Something greater is, in fact, the motivating force behind all discipline. All discipline trades present pain or discomfort or hard work for some future reward.
Bodybuilders lift heavyweight to build muscle, be strong, and look good. People who fast trade the pleasures of food for a stronger character, improved health, and a closer relationship with God. Good students trade time socializing, watching TV, and scrolling to get smarter and make the grade.
People who abstain from porn and other destructive sexual habits do so to increase happiness (link), to increase love (link), to increase self-esteem (link), and to honor God (link). They do so to to increase their likelihood of having a happy, monogamous relationship one day (link).
Our elders often don’t focus on the why. They tell us to do things without giving us a reason, even where a good one exists. Young people who are not thoughtful, who don’t know any better, or who are lied to by their peers or society may think there is no value in the wisdom of their elders. As soon as they have the power, they move in the opposite direction.
Our why is the reason why we do what we do–our purpose, in a word. Purpose is crucially important in life. It confers strength and fighting spirit. Without a sense of purpose behind what we do, we may soon stop doing it, especially if it requires discipline.
Today let’s meditate on the fact that something greater awaits every step we take in the direction of purity and integrity.