Monday, November 22, 2010

Driving Force: Our Amazing Willpower


"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love."
Galatians 5:13

Anything I have successfully done has been the result of using my willpower. It is amazing what I have accomplished when I set my mind to it. For years, I secretly longed to play violin. I finally decided to do something about it and started taking lessons five years ago. I have stuck with it, despite not being easy. Many days I feel too busy or tired to practice, yet I have been pleasantly surprised at the payoff of my persistence. Thirty minutes of practice five to seven times a week has allowed me to now play concertos by Vivaldi and Handel.

God gave us a fantastic gift when he empowered us with willpower. Our will not only enables us to be self-determined, but it also gives our life purposefulness. It gives shape to each day. We can decide to clean the house or to leave it a mess. We can decide to eat the extra serving of food or to go for a jog. The quality of our life is up to us, and our willpower determines the course by governing our reason and emotions.

Unfortunately, most of us have weak willpower. We let our emotional needs and desires set our life's direction. It is easy to let our level of interest be the determining factor rather than our agenda. We are more likely to participate in activities or relationships that meet an emotional need, instead of those that move us closer to a long-range goal . But, this is a dangerous practice. Most long-range goals and accomplishments require a regular, incremental routine. For example, we cannot become a successful NFL football player without years of tedious exercise and practice. It is when we consistently discipline ourselves we become successful.

Our will is an incredible gift. It does take self-control to consistently use willpower, but it will enable us to achieve some incredible accomplishments. Through the use of our will, we are able to learn a new skill, become more physically fit, grow spiritually closer to God, or even take better care of ourselves and our community. As we begin to look toward the new year, let's plan to use our willpower more often.

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