You will fail.

You will drop the ball. 

You will backslide. 

You will give in to weakness. 

No matter how disciplined you are, it will happen at some point in your life.

What then? 

What will you do about it? 

How will you respond? 

You will have at least two choices. 

Choice 1: Give in completely, wallow in your mess, and stay there. 

Choice 2: Correct course, divert your energy back towards discipline and move towards good and right things. 

The first path is easy, which is why so many choose it. 

The second is impossibly difficult, yet leads to every good thing in life. 

Which will you choose?

Setting The Tone

Your alarm sounds in the early morning hours and you rouse from your slumber to turn it off. 

That’s your first action of the day—to make the incessant beeping stop. 

But what’s your next move?

Rolling back over to for a little extra rest? 

Telling yourself, “Just ten more minutes?” 

Or do you spring to action? 

Do you climb out of bed and start your day? 

Truth be told, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sleeping in. 

No one is going to look down on you because you choose to get up at the last possible moment before having to leave for work. 

So why do it? 

If sleeping in isn’t wrong, why give up the extra sleep?

You give up the comfort and warmth of your bed because among other things it sets the tone for your day. 

How you respond to that first test sets you on a path. A path towards strength, action, and victory. Or a path towards timidity, reaction, and weakness. 

There are two paths and the one you choose determines a great deal. 

At what cost?

You’re given a choice each time you’re hurt. 

You could return fire and respond in kind. Or you could let it go and move on. 

Be wary of the path you choose. 

In selecting your response, you decide the person you’ll become. 

There are few, if any, neutral decisions. Each one helps form the picture of who you are today, and who you’ll be down the road. 

It may feel good to dish sarcasm, wit and venom upon your foes, but at what cost? 

A victory pursued, or even attained, in the wrong way is a hollow one. In fact, it’s not a victory at all. It’s a loss. In becoming like your enemy to beat your enemy, you become the thing you hated in the first place. Becoming evil to beat evil allows evil to win. 

You’re not called to take the path that feels good. You’re called to take the path of righteousness. The path that leads to kindness, gentleness, and character. 

Choose the right path regardless how difficult or hard it is. Stay out of the mud. 

Do it enough and you’ll become the man or woman you hoped to be. And that will make all the mud slung your way worth it, even if no one else can tell.