The Liberty of Discipline: How Discipline Creates Freedom

It’s the fifth day of the new year, and it’s time to reconsider my priorities and rearrange my lifestyle, particularly where food is concerned. But even if you’re okay with your weight, reading this post can help you with other areas of life where you might find yourself lacking in discipline.


Originally written as an entry in my Purple Poppin journal, January 5, 2018.

Discipline Tips the Scales

If you need help making your New Year’s Resolutions stick this year, consider the following revelations I’ve been pondering in my journal:

Freedom vs. Bondage

Freedom to eat whatever we want makes us slaves to food and food-related illnesses.

Freedom of religion makes many people slaves to idols.

Freedom of speech makes us slaves to the tongue (James 3).

Freedom of choice makes us slaves to the consequences of our decisions (sowing and reaping).

These points could go on indefinitely, but the important takeaway is this:

With freedom also comes bondage.

Even the Apostle Paul said, “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me” (Romans 7:21).

Seeing we have this catch-22 dilemma, what then is the crucial element that tips the scales in our favor?

In a word: Discipline.

Imagine a set of scales, similar to the scales of justice, like the ones below:

Gold Scales (Discipline)

Now, imagine the word Freedom in the left tray and the word Bondage in the right tray. Both are equal in balance, always fighting for an advantage over the other.

Now, add the word Discipline to the left tray with Freedom. What happens? The scales tip in favor of Freedom, much as they would for Bondage had the word Laziness been added to its side.

Which side do you want to be on?

"With freedom also comes bondage." Eric Beaty

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Discipline: The Great Liberator

Consider the following:

Discipline is not the enemy of my freedoms; rather, it’s the moderator between me and my lustful cravings for food. Discipline is not the enemy of my time; it’s the ultimate time-management aid. Discipline is not the enemy of my goals; it’s the catalyst for them, their biggest fan and cheerleader.

In short: Discipline puts you in control!

It’s the addition of discipline that enables us to conquer the bondage which accompanies freedom. I didn’t know how much of a slave I’d been to food until recently. It’s been the freedom to eat whatever I've wanted—without discipline as a guide—that’s caused me to live in bondage to food all my life.

The statement made by the Way, the Truth, and the Life Himself—Jesus Christ—rings true even today: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32-33). To “make free” means to liberate. Without discipline, we are captives to the lusts and desires of our flesh, “servants of sin,” as Jesus also says in verse 33.

The same can be said for God’s laws. God doesn’t make laws and rules to punish or enslave us; rather, He tells us—nay, warns us—of laws that are already in place so we can be truly free by knowing the truth of their existence and, ultimately, the consequences of not abiding by them.

Discipline Principles for Weight Loss

So, when all is said and done, possessing discipline allows us to conquer our enslavements. More specifically, in my case (and many others’) regarding weight-loss, the following disciplines apply:

  • Counting Calories - This has proven effective for me before.
  • Exercise - Start small, then build your stamina.
  • Sleep - Same time to bed, same time to wake.
  • Portion Sizes - Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them, or else point number 1 is useless.
  • Cravings - Snack on veggies, nuts, & other healthy options. No chips or similar items.
  • Water - Try for three to five bottles a day (I recently bought a new 24 oz. water bottle for this very purpose. Nothing’s allowed in it except water!) Drinking water is especially important. If you focus more on meeting your water consumption and exercise goals, you’ll not be so preoccupied with obsessing over food.
  • Sugar - Diet drinks (very sparingly), stevia sweeteners, honey. Avoid snack cakes, candy (even sugar-free candy has calories, so consume sparingly), etc.
  • Fast Food / Restaurants - Medium-sized portions, take some to-go for later; no large burgers, fries, etc. Again, drink water.


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Discipline is a Choice

Perhaps the best piece of advice I can give you is this: You have a choice.

That’s right. It’s entirely up to you how you will live your life from this moment on.

You get to decide whether or not to get out of bed on time instead of hitting the snooze button ten times in a row. (Maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it.)

You get to decide whether to eat large portions or more reasonable ones.

You get to decide if you’re ready to be truly free from any issues that have held you back your entire life.

Looking back, I can see where my poor, undisciplined decisions have led me. The good news is there’s a way out; the bad news is it won’t happen overnight.

But if I stick with it, if I stay disciplined in finding what works and keep doing it over and over, I will conquer my weight issues once and for all. It’s a guaranteed thing! I have nothing to lose—except the weight and prescription meds, of course—so I’d be a fool to stay undisciplined.

And the truth is I’ve been a fool long enough.

What about you? What choices will you make?


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Question: What disciplines have you implemented in your life to become liberated from your own personal struggles? 

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