Commitment Series #1
“And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (1 Corinthians 9:25)
Our lesson this week in this Commitment Series is on the subject of self-discipline. Self-discipline is the ability you have to make yourself do things that should be done. Typically, it is for the purpose of self-improvement. Our parents may give us chores to do and our teachers may give us homework to do, but this is ‘doing’ what is required by others in our life. Self-discipline is when you decide within your own heart and mind to do things that are going to make you better in all areas of life. If you want a healthy body, then you discipline yourself to eat the right foods. If you want to be a good student who makes good grades, then you discipline yourself to study hard. Athletes, musicians, engineers and many other occupations require a high level of self-discipline to become accomplished in their field.
The Apostle Paul in our scripture text is saying that anyone who puts forth the effort to be the best they can be is one who is temperate or self-controlled. He uses the earthly example of an athlete training to win a prize to show us how we should approach our Christian life in order to win the heavenly prize. The athlete’s race is an earthly one while ours is a spiritual one. He runs for an earthly crown while we are running for a heavenly crown. One very important thing to remember is that self-discipline includes rejecting those things that would be harmful to our Christian life. The world will tempt you by saying a little bit of sin won’t matter but we must not give in to the temptation. Keep your eyes on the prize! Commitment to Jesus Christ requires self-discipline.