“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got... I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (MSG)
The summer Olympics games are a magical time in our house. I love the drama, competition, nationalism, and pageantry of every event. These athletes train and give their lives to the sport. Watching them compete (from the comfort of my home – in my yoga pants) inspires me, not only to exercise my body, but to exercise self-control in my spiritual life.
The apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthian people were about resisting the temptation to be lazy in their faith, to ignore God’s love, faithfulness, and blessings in their lives. As we exercise self-control, we experience God’s best. As we ask God to grant us self-control in our finances, parenting, marriages, and interactions each day, we see that following His path and not our own produces a more fruitful and meaningful life. As parents, we are constantly trying to teach our little people about self-control – resisting their urges and making wise choices. We should start by modeling this first.
Let’s pray with our kids for the self-control to obey God and be kind first. Let’s talk about self-control at the dinner table and how we can experience God’s best when we run His race and not our own. This does not strip us of our individuality, but promotes us to invite God into our daily decisions, actions and reactions. As we exercise this wisdom and restraint, we will consistently experience God’s eternal gold.
Grace Brown, Faith and Family Coordinator