I once weighed 400 pounds. Although I was a former football player and competitive weight lifter with a tall, broad build, I was still very much overweight. At first, I was tempted to blame my weight gain on a series of health issues I faced. Yet as I began to take careful stock over what I ate and how I treated my body, I knew that the main reason was due to a lack of discipline and self-control.
Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
I tried several diet plans and programs to lose weight, but I only had a modicum of success. Frustrated, I took my concerns to God. I confessed my overeating and lack of discipline, and through this process, I discovered other areas of my life in which I was undisciplined. By the grace of God, I was able to lose more than 150 pounds. I still struggle with my weight, but I have discovered that the more I submit to God’s discipline in my life, the easier it is for me to have self-control — not just in my physical body, but also in my spiritual life.
Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified
1 Corinthians 9:27
In his first Letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul described his desire to discipline his body to bring it under control. Paul understood that the manner in which he treated his body reflected a deeper spiritual reality. We all have areas in our lives that lack self-control. God offers us His grace to make us disciplined, but we must willingly submit to it. This is not just a one-time process, but one that we must seek constantly. Like Paul, we must be on guard in the areas where we lack discipline and actively seek God’s grace to overcome our lack of discipline.
Ask God to reveal areas in your life in which you lack discipline and then give you the grace to overcome.
This article is an excerpt from Stand Firm, a daily devotional for men.
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