Devotional for Monday January 22nd

Good Morning Everyone,

 

Our theme for this month: “Balance”

 

Our Bible verse for today: “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 (HCSB)

 

Our thought for today: “Balance requires discipline.”

 

Discipline is a word we don’t like much. It suggests punishment, as in punishing a child for inappropriate behavior. At least, that’s usually the first meaning of discipline that comes to the minds of most people when they hear the word.

 

But actually, “punishment intended to correct inappropriate behavior” is only the fourth meaning of the word listed in the dictionary. “Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior” is the first one. “Controlled behavior resulting from such training” is the second. Third comes, “A state of order based on submission to rules and authority.”

 

Discipline, as a voluntary form of behavior modification intended to produce new character traits or improved patterns of living, is actually a good thing and should not be thought of in negative terms. This is the way Paul was using the term in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

 

“Do you not know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly, or box like one who beats the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

 

Those who succeed at anything in life do so because they have disciplined themselves to do the things necessary to succeed in that area. That’s true whether we’re talking about an athlete, a student, a musician, or a car mechanic.

 

So what does this have to do with our theme of “balance”? Just that achieving a good balance in all the important areas of our lives is going to take discipline. Almost always it requires behavior modification. It will take a change in behavioral patterns, and that takes time and effort. But that’s okay. Anything worthwhile always takes time and effort – and discipline – to achieve.

 

As you continue working to achieve and maintain a healthy balance in the important areas of your life, I encourage you to stick with it. It will take time, and it will take effort, but stay focused and disciplined. In time you will develop new patterns of behavior and that will become the new normal for you.

 

God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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