Think of all the projects, all the resolutions we begin and never finish. Starting is easy. Following through is hard. Few people get very far in most activities, even those at which we all long to excel. While this is obviously true in the arts and sports, it is just as true in activities such as communicating with people, making money, directing a group activity, or caring for honeybees. And we are not exempted from this rule when we enter the Kingdom of grace. So there’s nothing left to do but accept this psychological fact about human personality and realize that the rigorous form of life mandatory for excellence is the only way in which we can, as Paul directs, “purge” ourselves into becoming a “vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21). We must accept it and submit ourselves to it, knowing that the rigors of discipline certainly lead to the easy yoke and the full joy of Christ.
From The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. Copyright © 1988 by Dallas Willard. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.