LIFE CAN SEEM a constant struggle. And, at times, it’s not a struggle with difficulty, but a difficulty with convenience—the way things have become. The name of this challenge is “compromise.” What may be good in relationships can make self-management difficult, if not impossible.
It may appear easy to overcome, certainly to others as they consider our lives, but compromise attaches itself with claws when our outlook is ease; or, it can occur when our lives are difficult because we want to fabricate some ease.
Whatever, compromise comes because our minds are at home with ease—otherwise known as the pleasure principle.
Ease: An Enemy of Self-Management and Freedom
The friend of self-management is self-discipline, and therefore the enemy is ease.
Not that ease is bad; it is excess ease that’s counter-productive. Good ease is rest—the divinely appointed and anointed lack of activity. The trouble is when convenience defines our world, and there’s little reason for self-discipline, we are likely to be sucked into excess ease.
This is the temptation before all of us—certainly Westerners. Even those far-from-well-off people have majority choice over ease versus self-discipline. Even abject paupers could be drawn into spiritual ease, which can produce, ironically, feelings of despair or complaint because of self-righteousness.
The great desire of the heart human is freedom. Ease takes us away from freedom, whilst self-discipline enables it.
Power for Life
Paradoxically, there’s more freedom in relinquishing ease and assuming control over ourselves than there is in completely letting our hair down.
As we exercise the self-management of self-discipline we understand the principle that we are the ones left with ourselves—we have to live with ourselves. That’s a problem nobody else has but us. Our decisions, at their core, affect us primarily. Besides collateral damage, where sometimes our family or friends are involved, our person is the one left with the results of our decisions and actions.
God is fairest in this: this life that is ours, is ours. Natural justice suggests the exercise of responsibility is blessed and irresponsibility is cursed.
What is power for life is a simple concept; one made only harder because of ease—as we give into it.
Enjoyment of life is about understanding this principle and applying it. God gives us complete control over our decisions regarding self-management. If we recognise we have to live with ourselves, and later could perhaps regret the decision, how will we decide?
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.