1 Corinthians 9:24-27 | 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Running our race requires intentional preparation. There is training that is involved. There is conditioning that is involved. And most importantly, we need discipline. In 1 Corinthians chapter 9 the Apostle Paul writes to a group of people encouraging them to bring some well needed discipline into their lives if they hope to win the race they are running. He admonishes them to discipline their lives for the work that lies before them and to take intentional steps toward winning their race.
If we hope to become the people that God has called us to be, then we must be willing to take intentional action to accomplish that goal. Just as an athlete disciplines his body for the race ahead, so we too should discipline our lives to be best prepared for the race of life. As Christ followers who are reaching for the goal, we must be willing to make hard choices about the actions and behaviors that will contribute to us reaching our goal or keeping us from it.
Living the Christian life means we don’t live like the rest of the world. There are a lot of things that Christians won’t engage in because they conflict with who Christ has called us to be. The Apostle Paul said that “I do not run aimlessly” but rather with the purpose of winning the prize. In what areas of life do you need more discipline and intentionality so you too may win the prize?
Family Activity: Share a story from your life that shows how self-discipline helped you accomplish a goal.