Sunday message by Rev. Pat Bessey
Even when I don’t want to talk about weather, I find it difficult not to when, once again, we are hit with a Sunday snowstorm. The good news is that it waited until it was time to go home. As a result of the storm the class “I of the Storm” (no pun intended) was postponed until next Sunday.
Many people serve our community, and some are visible, and some are not. I want to acknowledge someone I turn to often, and that is Rev. Airin Wolf. Rev. Airin is a hospital chaplain at Maine Medical Center. When I hear that one of you is in the hospital, I text Airin to see if he is working. Often he is and I ask him if he could make a visit. I tell him who is in there and he makes a point to stop in and pray with them. I am so very grateful for him and the service he provides. Thank you, Rev. Airin!
We are on the next to last muscle in the book Peaceful Revolution. To date we have examined the muscles of hope, empathy, appreciation, conscience, and reason, and this week was the muscle of discipline. The muscle of discipline allows us to control our impulses. The muscle of discipline helps us make good decisions in many ways.
Discipline allows one to control an impulse to lash out. You have often heard “sleep on it” (wait until the next morning). Discipline gives options. Discipline is like gold. Just as gold is a universal currency in the world of economics, discipline is a universal currency in the world of achievement. Gold can be exchanged for goods and services in every country, and discipline can be exchanged for hard work and perseverance in every endeavor.
Self-Control: A Higher Expression of Discipline
Definition of self-control: the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.
“Cool heads prevail.” — Proverb
Paul said: One of the most important life skills we can have is the ability to delay gratification. This requires self-control, a higher expression of discipline that allows us to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gain.
Self-control deals with the short term, self-discipline with the long term.
Inner Freedom: The Highest Expression of Discipline
There is no authentic inner freedom that does not, sooner or later, also affect and change human history. — Rollo May
Paul says: Although many people take their freedom for granted, far more people do not appreciate or even think about inner freedom. What is inner freedom? Inner freedom means being released from the prison of uncontrollable impulses. Instead of being a slave to every whim, discipline allows us to master our desires.
When the muscle of discipline grows strong, it becomes self-control, a higher expression of discipline that allows us to make short-term sacrifices for long-term gains.
When the muscle of discipline reaches its highest expression, we achieve inner freedom. Inner freedom is synonymous with inner peace and is usually accompanied by happiness and bliss.
Inner freedom is not guided by our efforts; it comes from seeing what is true. — Gautama Buddha
Listen to this week’s Sunday message to hear what Mike Tyson said about what happened when he bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997 and the complete message.
Next week will be the last muscle… the muscle of curiosity.
You are a blessing in my life.
Rev. Patricia Bessey