Disciplined or Driven?

Disciplined or Driven?

March 13, 2019

The Bible places importance on work ethic, financial management, appropriate use of time, and daily enjoyment balanced with eternal perspective. Self-discipline is a common thread throughout Scripture, with many examples of people who did this well and those who did not.

I have been pondering the difference between a disciplined person and one who is driven. Some thoughts have evolved:

  1. A disciplined person sets realistic boundaries. They live by a schedule that is well thought out – not just a “to-do” list for the day. One who is driven tends to be overwhelmed with too many things and tries to accomplish all of them – usually an impossible task.
  2. A driven person can be so intent on “doing” that they miss “being” with people. Schedule overrides relationships. They do not have time to build friendships because of the need to get their work finished on time. A disciplined person puts people ahead of projects. Schedules need to be met but not at the expense of caring for people.
  3. A disciplined person will include some “pause” in their routine. They understand the importance of rest and that taking time to relax and refresh helps them accomplish more in the end. During a pause, they sometimes adjust their plans. One who is driven might see a pause as time that could be used for “doing.”
  4. A driven person sees their schedule as the motivation to get everything done. A disciplined person sees their schedule as a guide, with time built in for adjustment when needed.

A college housemate of mine appeared to be a disciplined person. He lived by a schedule that did not include many social connections. If we agreed ahead of time to walk to the cafeteria for dinner at 6:00 p.m., that is when he left. If I needed time to tie my shoes, he left without me and I had to run to catch him if I wanted to talk. I think he was more driven than disciplined.

Pastor Bill Ehmann

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