‘I fear that…I myself might be disqualified.’ 1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT
Paul writes: ‘Don’t you realise that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.’ (1 Corinthians 9:24–27 NLT) Unless you take control of your life, you will always live knowing that you don’t belong to yourself. In other words, you belong to whoever and whatever is controlling you. In order to improve, you must keep these three things before you at all times:
(1) Reading. David said, ‘Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.’ (Psalm 119:97 NKJV) Discipline yourself to read something each day that will help you spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and career-wise. And put the Bible at the top of your ‘books to read’ list.
(2) Rewards. Author Mike Delaney remarked, ‘Any business or industry that pays equal rewards to its goof-offs and its eager beavers, sooner or later will find itself with more goof-offs than eager beavers. What you reward, good or bad, in yourself and in others, you’ll keep getting more of.’
(3) Results. The next time you’re facing a must-do task, and thinking of doing what’s convenient instead of paying the price, change your focus. Count the benefits of doing what’s right, and dive in. Instead of focusing on the ‘work’, focus on the ‘reward’.
SoulFood: Gal 5:22, Lk 10:25–37, Eph 4:31–32, Rom 2:4
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023