Acton Institute Powerblog

Commentary: Self-Discipline Today or Hardship Tomorrow

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“Wishful thinking will not fix our nation’s spending and debt problem,” says Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. “The longer we procrastinate, the harder it will be for us to actually do it.”

In the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, a collection of wise stories and sayings from the first Christian monks, the following is attributed to one Abba Zeno: “Never lay a foundation on which you might sometime build yourself a cell.” This saying has at least two possible applications: 1) Do not start something you do not intend to see through. 2) Do not put off for tomorrow the asceticism you can do today. Unfortunately, both of these lessons are lost on our federal government when it comes to financial responsibility, and it is our children who will pay for the sins of their fathers.

The full text of his essay is here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • AK-47

    Very well analyzed, with clarity of thought(s), well reasoned-through, description of reality & facts: I hope that the Government will heed the ‘admonition’ and well-meant advice contained in the content of the text of this excellent article.
    (But, sadly, I doubt it. Due to sheer Politics (scoring points with the voting public), the longer-term, far more important issues & problems coming “at us” / facing this country, will, probably, at the cost of “short-term bickering” & totally unnecessary (partisan) “gridlock-production” be either totally ignored, or, put on the ‘back-burner’, thus “kicking the can down the road”, &, thus amassing a massive (fiscal) burden and poverty-producing situation for the next generation(s), plus, hopefully not (!), putting the entire country in peril!”)
    I ‘cringe’ at the apparent short-sightedness, political brinkmanship, partisan hostilities, all of which will (hopefully (!)) not steer our nation to the verge of ‘collapse’ sometime in the future!