43 years old and still dominating professional football! Tom Brady is a marvel.
He’s a brand, too. It’s called TB12. He wrote a book and has a Web site devoted to his method for optimal conditioning. His self-discipline is off the charts. He plans every detail of his life so he can play football as long as possible.
Here are some things I’ve read about Brady:
- He drinks 12-25 glasses of water a day. That’s somewhere around 2 gallons!
- He doesn’t eat any white flour, white sugar, or dairy. His healthy dessert is avocado ice cream. (Prepared by his personal chef, of course. When you make $30 million a year, you can afford a personal chef!)
- He arrives at the weight room by the crack of dawn. Once a teammate joined him at 6 a.m. Brady greeted him with “Good afternoon.”
- He does cognitive exercises so he can go to bed at 9 p.m. and wake up without an alarm.
His self-discipline is admirable, to say the least.
The Bible has a lot to say about self-discipline as part of the Christian life.
For Christians, self-control is a gift from God. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit, the final attribute on the list in Galatians 5:23. Because it’s a gift from God, we can pray for God to increase self-discipline within us.
We navigate life better with boundaries. “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28)
You may set boundaries for who you spent time with, how long you stay somewhere, what time you go to bed, what you eat or drink. These “walls” are for your protection.
Physical discipline matters to God. “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:27)
God is concerned not only about our spirits but also about our bodies. Is dieting a spiritual matter? Getting enough sleep? Exercising?
Yes. “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:19) We want to keep the Spirit’s temple in good repair.
Discipline has a payoff. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
We choose our pain. We either endure the pain of exercise or the pain of being out of shape and lacking energy. We either choose the pain of being patient or the pain of charging ahead and creating a mess. Either path involves pain. One path is proactive and the other is short-sighted.
Avocado ice cream, anyone?