1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (ESV)
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.
New Year’s resolutions…I make them each year, always with good intentions. Sometimes I do well and keep some of them, usually by March I am back doing what I resolved not to do in January.
One of my regular resolutions is to do a better job exercising. I like exercising actually. The problem is finding the time to do it right. If I’m just jogging for 20 minutes on the treadmill I don’t feel like I’m doing enough, so I often don’t bother at all. It doesn’t make much sense, I know.
One of my other resolutions I make each year is to improve my spiritual walk with God. I want to read my Bible more faithfully. I want to pray more fervently. However, I run into the same problems I run into with exercising. If I don’t feel like I am doing it right, I often don’t do it at all.
If my prayers feel like they’re going nowhere or there’s no connection with God, I end up putting prayer off until I lay in bed at night and then fall asleep shortly after, “Father, …”.
If my Bible reading is not stirring my heart and the words don’t jump out at me, I find something else to do (like sleep or email or anything else).
The problem with the way I treat these resolutions is that I am only allowing myself a pass\fail grade. Exercising, physical and spiritual, is a discipline. Disciplines take hard work. Disciplines are often not fun (although sometimes you can be in the “zone”). However, the discipline is a means to an end, not the end itself.
My attitude about exercising needs to be to do it for my health. The reward is a longer life with my family and hopefully someday grand kids.
My attitude about prayer and reading my Bible needs to be about my spiritual health. The reward is a closer relationship to the Creator and King of the universe.
This year, I resolve to live heather, so I have the opportunity (God willing) to live longer and enjoy my family longer in this lifetime. However, most importantly, I resolve to get to know my Creator and King more intimately.