And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not
There is a reason I titled this study the doing “muscle.” Holding oneself to self-improvement takes a very real energy. And that energy is not infinite, it runs low and it runs out, it is more available after a good night’s sleep, and less so when exhausted. Sometimes we feel energized to do that work, and other times we just don’t have any resolve left in us. We can exercise this muscle, but we can also overdo it and crash.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength
And frankly I have many times burned myself out because I didn’t view my resolve like a muscle. If I consider my literal muscles, then I know that if I sprint for too long I will feel fatigued, and I will know to bring my pace down to a more sustainable level. But how many of us have over-the-top New Year’s resolutions, ones where we don’t recognize the fatigue until we’ve completely fallen off the bandwagon?
In addiction therapy they caution against “white-knuckling,” where you try to force yourself to be totally perfect by sheer force of will. Force of will expends itself until it just isn’t there anymore, and then you fail again.
Yes we should improve and yes we should strengthen our moral muscles, but we will have much more success doing it in a measured, sustainable, steadily-improving sort of way.