But I discipline my body and keep it under control.

My first 5k, 2013.

Or so I hope.

Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Man, this section of Scripture screams so many different lessons to me. As a runner, I automatically think of how much running is a discipline! More often than not, it’s really hard! But I persevere because I want to get better, I want to win the race (whether that’s beating myself or anyone else), and I want to remind myself I really can do hard things.

But also, I think about my life in general. I think about how often I want to eat sugary treats when I know I shouldn’t, how often I hit snooze and miss out on what I had planned on doing before work, and how quick I am to spit fire with my tongue instead of first tasting my words.

So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.

I don’t want to run aimlessly. So often those things I described above – speaking harsh words, sleeping too late, indulging in treats too often… it feels like I’m swaying with the wind instead of holding onto the solid rock.

I mentioned in my MMR post this weekend that Jacob and I have made some serious diet changes lately. We’re not eating sugary treats or anything with added/processed sugar. We’re avoiding bread and choosing instead greens and natural power foods. We’re attempting to be more intentional about what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat.

But it’s hard, y’all. I love sweets – I want something sweet every day.. multiple times a day. It’s a horrible habit and I know my body won’t be able to take that for long! So this Scripture brings me back to the why we’re making these changes. Obviously we need to make changes for our health, but beyond that, we are testing and trying our discipline. We are exercising self control now because we know the rewards to come are much worth the short-term hardship.

Pushing my body to work hard and restraining my food intake are just skimming the surface of discipline. I want to learn to control my fiery tongue, my very un-blog worthy thoughts, and my heart that more often than not lacks compassion. I want to change those habits, which results from changing my heart… And no change comes without discipline first.

Friends, as silly as it is, I would appreciate your prayer in this journey in discipline! And I’d love to pray for you. How are you striving to seek Christ before all else? What hinders you? How would you like to grow in discipline?


P.S. Head on over to Rachel’s blog to see us talking about our Foodie Favorites today!