10,000 Hours

A decision without discipline is just your imagination.

Godliness does not come easily.

Denying yourself and choosing godliness does not feel good.

If you decide to be godly, very few will encourage you. The world will not applaud you. The culture will not help you.

Godliness takes toil.

After pointing us toward the goal of godliness, the Bible speaks of the challenge of meeting that goal.

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-10

We need to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7). That's a great goal. It is a trustworthy goal. It's a meaningful goal. It deserves full acceptance. Most people, even those who are not Christians, would agree that living a more moral life is a great goal. But godliness will not come naturally, and it will not come easily. 

You will have to toil and strive.

The Naturals

When we see someone succeed at something, we call them naturals, perhaps even prodigies. We believe that for people like Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, or the members of The Beatles, success comes easily. They are superstars because they are supernatural. But that's not the case at all.

In his book OutliersMalcolm Gladwell takes on this notion that things come more easily for highly successful people. In case after case, Gladwell shows us how success comes through struggle. Gladwell calls it the 10,000-hour rule. The 10,000-hour rule, says that people do not truly succeed at something until they have worked at it and practiced it for at least 10,000 hours. 10,000 hours equates to roughly 10 years.


Bill Gates borrowed time in an obscure computer lab and failed at numerous ventures before succeeding at Microsoft.

The Beatles played music day after day, hours on end, working for almost nothing in a pub. They played 10,000 hours before they ever popped up on the Ed Sullivan show. There was a hard history before the "rest was history."

And the same can be said for everyone from Beethoven to Michael Jordan. Success didn't come naturally or easily. 

I Don't Have It In Me

But we look at the success stories, and say, "I just don't have it in me."

You're right. You don't.

They didn't either.

And let's state the most obvious fact. When it comes to godliness, none of us have it in us. It won't come naturally. It won't come easily. It's a grand goal, but we will have to toil and strive.

We won't become godly because we stay motivated. We won't become godly because we agree that it would be good for us. Godliness takes discipline.

A decision without discipline is just your imagination.

It's going to take 10,000 hours.

And that's OK because "we have our hope set on the living God." Our Savior is worth the toiling and striving. Our eternity should impact us daily.

Train yourselves for godliness!  

Bible Study

Read 1 Peter 5:6-11.

  • List all of the commands in this passage. There are several.
  • What are the truths about suffering revealed in this passage?
  • How does Christ respond to our faithful suffering?


168. That's how many hours you have in a week. I have the same amount of hours as you do. And so does "that" guy! If discipline takes 10,000 hours, why not start this week? Take 1 hour of your schedule this week and commit it to an hour of godly discipline like Bible reading, memorization, prayer, discipleship, or worship.


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