I’m so excited for the Olympics!!! Something about the worldwide spirit of competition; the athletic pursuit for the craft, skill, excellence; the celebration of sacrifice, dedicated hours to train, persevere, strive forward no matter what obstacle. I get so inspired by it all! Memorable moment from the summer Olympics, the media was interviewing a man who was completing in the hurdle track events, he was asked by a reported if he was nervous to compete. I loved his comment “No, I don’t get nervous, yeah, its a much different grander scale, but my mindset is the same. I trained to win. Each time I went through training runs, smaller competition and events, I gave it 100%. I did my very best each and every time, and I walked away knowing what I was capable of. Knowing what I needed to improve upon if I wanted to win.”
Discipline. In 1 Corinthians 9, we hear a message from Paul on self-discipline. Do you know that all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training; they do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man, beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body [discipline it by hardships] . and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. [24-27]
So if we want to be a champion at anything in our lives, whether its athletic competition, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or growing closer to knowing God, we must do things even though we may not feel like doing them. Ouch! Denied! We hate those words or even the thought of it. However, to truly honor our bodies and spirit, we must stay self-disciplined against the things that wreck our bodies or wreck our peace.
And everyone is tempted in some way or another, or in every way! Stop the temptations in their tracks, say “no” to your body. Persevere, You then build up your mental defenses against future temptations, as you’ve already ran that race! Stay in the word. 1 Corinthians 10:13 Paul says, No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.