Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control…
1 Cor 9:25-27
I am often inspired by watching athletes exercise and work out. They have such dedication to their craft, and they beat their bodies every day to be at the top of their game.
What Paul is saying here is that Christians should have the same mentality.
We are not training for championships, medals, or prizes, but we are training to make our lives spiritually relevant for kingdom work.
Recently, this passage has been changing the way I conduct myself this year.
I have been waking up earlier every day to “start my training.” While the end goal of spending time with Jesus is to… spend time with Jesus, there is that element that being in his presence has missional value and so I am spending my days with that in mind. When I leave my house and interact with people on the streets, at school, in the market, I have “primed myself” for spiritual work.
I am filling up my free time with time to pray from aimless down time in order to read books that will benefit my spirit and my ministry.
Athletes take breaks but they generally keep away from things that will deter their focus. And so I am cutting out time wasted on entertainment or internet because I know they won’t prosper me for change.
I’m learning how to “beat my body” and to make it my slave so that this temple of God may be useful for kingdom work!