By Nicholas Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor

Wars have been fought since the beginning of time over this one basic concept: freedom. The idea of freedom is the very foundation of our country. Forces that seek to potentially oppose our freedom get headlines in the media. North Korea, Boston Bombers, Iran’s Nuclear Weapons. They stand to disturb that one concept from which all of our happiness in America stems: freedom.

What happens then when opposition to our freedom occurs? War. It gets ugly. American’s don’t mess around. Similarly, if someone were to break into a typical American’s home, the owner probably wouldn’t sit idly by while their 60” TV gets hauled out by a couple guys in ski masks.

The point? We LOVE freedom to the point of fighting. Yet when it comes to our emotional health, physical health, and relational health, we often do the opposite and take an idle approach. We even use freedom as an excuse to say things like, “I can eat whatever I want”, “I don’t have to listen to you”, and “I don’t need to handle this issue, it will resolve itself.” Food is a good example because even though we are free to eat whatever we want, making unhealthy choices will restrict our freedom to live a long healthy life. Our freedom to avoid problems in marriage will restrict our freedom to have a happy marriage. Exercising our freedom to ignore difficult life circumstances, negative thoughts, etc., will restrict our freedom to have a fulfilling life.

Discipline on the other hand, is a self-imposed restriction of freedom to help us accomplish our goals. Giving up in order to gain. Aligning our goals with our God-given talents and abilities will enable us to find true freedom and fulfillment.

“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”
-- G. K. Chesterton