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Are You Hardcore?

Love (Divine) Discipline (Self) Die To Self

Source: “Why you should be 'hardcore' about one thing in life,” by Katherine Martinko, Tree Hugger, December 22, 2017

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-01-04

Scripture: Matthew 5:43 ; Romans 5:8

Author: Illustration Exchange


Katherine Martinko, with Tree Hugger, writes:

You've probably heard Nietzsche's famous phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The underlying message is that difficulties can be important growth experiences; they fortify us for the future, make us more resilient and resourceful. The phrase came to mind when I was reading an article by financial independence (FI) blogger Tanja Hester, a.k.a. Ms. Our Next Life. In it, she asks, "What's your 'selectively hardcore'?"

[W]hat Hester's talking about is the idea that sometimes it's valuable to have one carefully-chosen lifestyle habit that may be viewed as 'hardcore' by the rest of the world, but is meaningful to you.

You might not be hardcore in the other things you do, but having that one quirk teaches you important lessons and offers perspective.

Hester's own "selectively hardcore" is turning down the indoor heat to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius), cold enough to solidify the dish detergent and to require a hot water bottle in bed at night. Being a finance blogger, she has obviously calculated the savings (approx. $250/mth x 6 cold months = $1,500/year). She says that she and her husband could afford to turn up the heat, but they don't because "it's important to do one thing consistently that tests you."

What are these benefits that warrant shivering in one's home? Hester writes (expanding on each of these points in greater detail in her original article):

- We're stronger than we think.

- Pain is temporary.

- It's always possible to learn new things or embrace new experiences.

- Comfort is a privilege.

- Gratitude is something you can feel.

"What began as a knee-jerk financial reaction has turned into this wise teacher, teaching us about life, ourselves, and not really about money at all. But we wouldn't have learned these lessons -- and certainly not felt them in our bones -- if we hadn't stuck with this stubborn idea consistently every single winter."


If Christianity has a hardcore quirk, it's found in Jesus' words, “Love your enemies.” What could possibly be more "hardcore" than that?  

Yet this command should be profoundly meaningful to every Christian.  After all, isn't this how God responded to us in our rebellion? Despite our sin (acts of rebellion against God), Christ died for us.  Though we rejected Him, He gave everything for us.  And then He calls us to love others with the same love.  A love that reaches out to its enemies.  

Indeed, what begins as a totally counterintuitive act can turn into a wise teacher, teaching us a lot about ourselves.  Like how empty we are when it comes to real love and how much we need God's help if we are to love others the way He loves us. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?  Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48). 

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). 

Are You A Hypermiler?

Evangelism Discipline (Self) Goal Setting

Source: “The story behind a strange-looking car named Dino,” by Michelle Basch | WTOP May 13, 2016

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Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-08-24

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:22 ; Hebrews 12:2

Author: Illustration Exchange


Michelle Basch with WTOP reports: 

Cline is a hypermiler, which means he tries to squeeze as many miles as he can out of every gallon of gas during his commute between Calvert County and the District.

The homemade plastic roof extension in back, called a kammback, looks a bit like a cape and is meant to reduce drag.

Cline, originally from Pennsylvania, also installed smaller-than-normal side mirrors for the same reason. And to reduce the weight of the car, he’s taken out the back seats.

Cline overinflates his tires, although that’s something AAA Mid-Atlantic advises against.

“The factory recommends 33 pounds at each corner, and I do 40,” he said.

Cline says the way you drive makes a difference too. For instance, speeding doesn’t help: “The higher you go, the more gas it takes to keep your vehicle at speed. Certain cars like certain ranges of miles per hour,” Cline said.

“My particular car does really well at 60. If I go 65, I start to reduce my miles per gallon, but if I go 55 I’m actually reducing too.”

If there’s a red light ahead, Cline slows down far in advance. “It actually makes more sense to slow down before you approach the light, so that when you get to the light it turns green and you’re already still rolling,” he said.


When you have a clear goal and you’re committed to it, you become very mindful of all the little things that must be done to reach that goal. That describes the Apostle Paul. He was the original hypermiler. No one else traveled so far, or comported themselves so efficiently, or lived with more purpose—all in an effort to reach his goal of spreading the message of grace.  

What about you? What is your goal? And what sacrifices have you made to reach it?

“To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Where’s The Beef?

Discipline (Self) Drunkenness Holy Spirit (Walking In)

Source: "1/3 of vegetarians eat meat when drunk," NZ HERALD, Monday, 12 October 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-21

Scripture: Ephesians 5:18 ; Galatians 6:1

Author: Illustration Exchange


The following study has found that a third of vegetarians admit to eating meat when drunk:

One in three admitted to eating meat every time they were under the influence and noted kebabs and burgers as their meat cheat of choice.

Of the 1700 vegetarians surveyed, 27 per cent said they ate bacon, 19 per cent ate fried chicken and 14 per cent went for pork sausages.

Almost three quarters of confessors said they kept their meat meals a secret.

The survey was conducted by a British money saving website, Voucher Codes Pro.

George Charles, the founder, said he knew of "vegetarians who sometimes crave meat, but it seems that a few are giving into their cravings when drunk.”

Charles adds:

I think it's important for friends of these vegetarians to support them when drunk and urge them not to eat meat as I'm sure they regret it the next day.


Most people who consume alcohol do so to relax and have a little fun. But, as with many things, too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing, especially when it comes to alcohol. With overindulgence, relaxation can quickly cross-the-line and become a loss of self-control. This is when even deeply held convictions become most vulnerable.

For the Christian, even weightier things are at stake. Things like character, integrity, and marital and familial commitments are all threatened by the weakening of resolve that comes with intoxication.

If we are willing to use constraint to protect our diet, shouldn’t we be willing to use constraint to protect our relationship with God?

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

And what about the rest of us who see our brothers and sisters lapsing into vulnerable situations? Perhaps it's best to echo the sentiments above: We must come along side them, encouraging them to exercise constraint.

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted" (Galatians 6:1).

Gyllenhaal Trained Like A Boxer

Discipline (Self) Discipleship Witness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-07-24

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:6

Author: Illustration Exchange

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I'll Bet You I Can Overcome My Vice

Goal Setting Accountability Discipline (Self)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-12-29

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9

Author: / Illustration Exchange

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The One Percent Improvement Plan

Success Discipline (Self) Spiritual Growth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-08

Scripture: Luke 16:20 ; Luke 19:17

Author: James Clear / Illustration Exchange

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Can Anyone Eat Just One

Temptation God's Faithfulness Discipline (Self)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-12

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:13

Author: unknown

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An Eighty Thousand Dollar Slip of the Tongue

Words (Power of) God's Judgment Discipline (Self)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-13

Scripture: Matthew 12:36

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Nearly 200,000 Miles Further and $8,000 Richer

Discipline (Self) Seeker Perseverance

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-09

Author: Illustration Exchange

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Delayed Gratification

Reward Discipline (Self) Endurance

Contributed By: Rich Wilbur | Date Posted: 2013-01-25

Scripture: Hebrews 6:12

Author: Emily Bazelon

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