5 Reasons the Disciplined Life Is Sexy
No matter your season of life, do not underestimate the appealing power of living a disciplined life.
Wait, did he just say the word sexy?
Yes, I said sexy.
When you hear the word sexy, I’m sure many different images come to mind. Maybe you think of sex, the root of the word’s original meaning. But in recent years, the word has been watered down to mean a number of different things. It can refer more generally to someone you find very attractive, physically fit, or even someone who has an irresistible personality. According to Merriam-Webster, a broad definition of sexy is something that is attractive, exciting or appealing.
Now let me throw out a phrase for consideration: the disciplined life. Any hits on the Sexy-O-Meter with that one? I know, you probably don’t use the words discipline and sexy in the same sentence. However, I would like to challenge your perspective with this thought: The disciplined life is sexy.
There is definitely something attractive, exciting and appealing about those who choose to live their lives with discipline.
The opposite of a disciplined life is a lazy or sloppy life. A life with no order or organization, no motivation or influence, and minimal output compared to the great potential that lies within. On the other hand, the disciplined life is full of focus, hard work, diligence, order and impact. These may not be the qualities the world deems as sexy — but they are.
I have witnessed firsthand the influential power of a disciplined life. I have also seen the negative effects of a lazy and sloppy life. On a personal note, I am by no means perfect in this area, but I have endeavored to live a life of discipline. Whether I’m playing sports, studying academics or pursuing spiritual growth, living in a disciplined way has led to positive results in my life. I believe that God desires for us to live in a manner that brings Him glory and causes our lives to be attractive to others.
Here are five reasons I think the disciplined life is sexy:
1. It Builds Trust
All solid relationships (employee/employer, teammates, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, friendships, etc.) must be established on a foundation of mutual trust. If you consistently do the right thing, especially if it’s the hard thing, it builds trust with others. People are naturally drawn to those who work hard and live with integrity. If you are a disciplined individual then you are usually reliable, and therefore, others can count on you. On the flip side, sloppy and lazy living only breaks trust, never builds it. So if you promised you would be there, be there. If you don’t want to forget an important date, put it in your calendar. Endeavor to consistently live a disciplined life and earn the trust of those around you.
2. It Frees You to Focus on Others
A person who is really exciting is someone who looks out for the interests of others. Jesus said that He didn’t come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28), and He is our example of living well. When you live a lazy or sloppy life, you constantly have to clean up after yourself. You have to make excuses for why you showed up late or justify why you forgot a special occasion. It’s a very selfish way to live that negatively affects you and the people around you. The undisciplined life creates a burden that others have to help carry.
On the other hand, living the disciplined life creates margin to live a generous life. If you are early or on time, you show respect for the person you’re meeting or you create margin to engage with others before an activity starts. When you are physically fit, you can help coach others in their journey to fitness. If you budget your money wisely, you have extra to buy someone else’s meal or surprise him or her with an unexpected gift. Living the disciplined life opens the door of generosity in your life and allows you to live a life of greater impact, a life focused on others.
3. It Makes You Promotable
There is something attractive about a person who continually grows and advances in life. In comparison, it can be frustrating to watch someone live a lazy life with little to no progress being made. The disciplined life contributes to making someone highly promotable. The Bible teaches this principle when it clarifies that if you are faithful in the little things, you can be entrusted with more (Matthew 25:21; Luke 16:10). In other words, being disciplined in the little things of life makes you promotable to the bigger things of life.
You can see this principle at work in almost every area of life. In the area of employment, if you consistently show up on time, meet your deadlines and add value to your company, you become promotable. In sports, if you learn the plays, arrive early and stay late to put in extra work, and listen to your coach, you are positioned for more playing time on the team. This even works in dating relationships. If a boyfriend or girlfriend pays attention to the little things that you enjoy, plans fun dates and effectively communicates love and appreciation, there’s a good possibility the relationship will continue to move forward. Hard-working and promotable people really are desirable.
4. It Leads to a Healthy Life
Let’s be honest: A healthy person is a sexy person. I’m not just talking about physical fitness either. When you live disciplined in all areas of your life, it will bring health to those areas. If you spend time with God each day through prayer, worship and the reading of His Word, you will become a more spiritually healthy person. Choosing to eat healthy foods and work out on a regular basis will have a positive effect on your physical health. Even the way you treat your friends determines the health and longevity of your relationships. The Bible tells us that a faithful man abounds with blessings (Proverbs 28:20). Because being faithful in life means being disciplined, you could say that a disciplined man or woman abounds with blessings and a healthy life.
5. It Is a Good Witness
If we desire for our lives to be attractive, exciting and appealing to others, we don’t have to join a rock band or climb Mt. Everest (although that would be cool). As our culture promotes adventure, spontaneity and creativity (all great things), it unfortunately seems to encourage a generation of adults who are unorganized, unreliable and undisciplined in many areas. This undisciplined life may seem sexy in the moment, but in the long run it does not bear fruit that remains (John 15:16, NASB).
We are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth kind of people (Matthew 5:13-14). Living the disciplined life can be a great witness for Christ.
Disciplined people are people with influence. Some of the most influential people I know are the most disciplined people in the areas of finance, sports, education and devotion to God. They have a good reputation and testimony, and live a life that makes the Gospel attractive to others. One of my favorite quotes is often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.” Simply put, the way we live our lives on a daily basis has the potential to draw others closer to Jesus.
The world may not agree that living the disciplined life is sexy. As a matter of fact, it may try to convince you that discipline is boring and old-fashioned. But before you decide, it’s important to ask yourself if there is anything attractive about trustworthiness, being others-focused, growth, health and influence.
Are you trying to attract Mr. or Mrs. Right? Do you desire to move up in your company or organization? Would you love to have influence and impact on others for Christ? No matter your season of life, do not underestimate the appealing power of living a disciplined life. It’s not only attractive — it’s downright sexy!
Copyright Eric Giesow. 2015 All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Eric Giesow, along with his wife, Erica, are passionate about empowering next-generation leaders to live life well at ericanderica.org. He is also an executive pastor and co-director of EPIC Commission College-age Discipleship Program at Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, Mich. He is husband to Erica and dad to Ella and Eli. You can follow him on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.