“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.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
I’ve played on a few teams in my life. Baseball, Track and Football were my main sports. I enjoyed playing sports but they all require a large time commitment, especially if you are trying to improve or do well. It wasn’t until college however when I really learned the value of specific training. My freshman year of college I was in the best shape of my life, mainly because I was working out 4 hours each day, taking one day off each week. I would spend two hours each day in the gym, and two hours every day on the field, running, throwing and building my skill as a shot-put and discus thrower. What’s amazing to me is that I wasn’t even that good. I was ok, but I was never going to be a star. I just enjoyed the sport and challenging myself to get better.
Paul often compares our spiritual life to that of an athlete. Like an athlete we are to train ourselves spiritually. To me this means we are to devote a large portion of our time to developing our souls as well as our skills as a disciple of Christ. Another word for disciple is an apprentice. Someone who takes on the role of a learner to develop their skill in a certain area. We are all apprentices of Jesus and His way of life. So therefore we need to develop practices of doing the things that Jesus did. These practices include solitude, silence, prayer, studying Scripture, Sabbath, community, fasting, and giving. And the great thing about all these practices, as we train ourselves to be godly, we receive an eternal reward!
Putting it into Practice
How does your time reflect the importance of training in godliness? Do you take regular time to be with God and grow as an apprentice of Jesus? If not, what gets in the way from starting right now?
Lord we thank you for this new day in which you have given us. We pray that we will continue to be diligent in pursuing our relationship with you. It’s in the precious name of Christ Jesus we pray, Amen.