2 Timothy 2:5
5 And if anyone competes as an athlete [in competitive games], he is not crowned [with the wreath of victory] unless he competes according to the rules.
Every man or woman who is an athlete is also an individual under discipline. This is an individual who has learned to discipline their body and appetites. No athlete goes into competitive games without taking a season where the sole focus of their life becomes preparation for what lies ahead of them. They will deny themselves and bring their bodies under discipline; they will desist from certain kinds of food and also keep away from people because they focus on getting themselves ready for the games. They will make sure they lose all excess fat and tone their muscles ready to take on the prize.
The same applies to us who call ourselves Christians. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, students under discipline walking after the spirit and not after the flesh. We are to subject our flesh to discipline so that we are not giving in to every appetite of the flesh allowing it to dictate how we live, No! We are to discipline ourselves to live after the spirit and not the flesh. Many believers struggle to live a victorious life because we have not made the decision to discipline our flesh and every time we find ourselves living to gratify the flesh.
Just like the athlete, we have decision to make every day and what we decide determines the direction our life goes and whether we will finish our race.
Do I wake up early morning and do my mornings run or do I sleep in today because it’s raining?
Do I eat this nice fatty fried food or do I stick to my vegetables because I need to lose some weight to improve the pace of my run
Do I spend this time entertaining myself or do I lock myself away from the crowd and study my bible?
Just like the athlete tones and build his muscle with every decision to stick to his training plan no matter what, you and I also build our faith with every decision we make to live after the spirit and not gratify the flesh. Without exercise the athlete begins to gain fat and lose momentum and the same applies to you and I.
Are you a disciple; are you a student under discipline? Christianity and discipline are two sides of the same coin. May we learn from the discipline that every athlete has because we are running a race, a race that you and I have no option but to finish!