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“The best decision makers are the ones who know when not to trust themselves.” ~Dr. Roy Baumeister
… are the ones who structure their lives so as to conserve willpower. They don’t schedule endless back-to-back meetings. They avoid temptations like all-you-can-eat buffets, and they establish habits that eliminate the mental effort of making choices. Instead of deciding every morning whether or not to force themselves to exercise, they set up regular appointments to work out with a friend. Instead of counting on willpower to remain robust all day, they conserve it so that it’s available for emergencies and important decisions.
[Spiritual disciples are] the God-ordained means by which each of us in enabled to place the little, individualized power pack we all possess--the human body--before God as 'a living sacrifice' (Rom. 12:1). It is the way we go about training in the spiritual life. By means of this process we become, through time and experience, the kind of persons who naturally and freely express 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control' (Gal. 5:22-23). . . .
A Spiritual Discipline is an intentionally directed action by which we do what we can do in order to receive from God the ability (or power) to do what we cannot do by direct effort. . . . The Spiritual Disciplines in and of themselves have no merit whatsoever. They possess no righteousness, contain no rectitude. Their purpose--their only purpose--is to place us before God. After that they have come to the end of their usefulness. But it is enough. Then the grace of God steps in, takes this simple offering of ourselves, and creates out of it the kind of person who embodies the goodness of God . . . .