I Corinthians 9:24-27 [NKJV] “ Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
The thrill of the game, the adrenalin rush, the pulse pounding impact of the watching the last few moments of a close game between rival teams. The spike in blood pressure; the blood curdling and agonizing scream you hear when our team loses …you would think that folk were playing the game themselves.
Yes, SPORTS … if not yourself, the average guy you know loves sports. Get this … with no compensation of any kind and with no physical value being obtained from it whatsoever, most of your friends are hooked on sports like powerful drugs! In fact, depending on the season, may I suggest that some of your friends may even live for the game!
Think of all of the time and money spent on one’s favorite sport and what they will do just to support or connect with their favorite athlete or team. For most of us our connection to sports starts pretty early in life. Whether “pee wee” league or intramural level, many of us tend to take our sports pretty serious.
Gratefully, if you watch them closely, there are so many powerful, life lessons that can be learned from the athlete and regardless of sport, one thing the athlete teaches us is how to utilize discipline in our lives.
See it is the athlete’s daily dose of disciple that keeps him from becoming disqualified. So, with this thought in mind, can we change sports for just a moment?
The sport for now is life and if you don’t mind I need to ask you a few serious questions to see what kind of athlete you really are:
How are you playing your game? Are you even in the game or are you still on the bench? [Out of fellowship]
Are you studied up on your winning plays? [Bible study]
Have you been coming to practice and grinding it out like you are supposed to or have you been taking short cuts? [Sin]
Are you a team player or has it been all about YOU? [Pride]
How’s your diet? Are you eating the right things; body , soul and spirit?[Meditation]
What kind of godliness in your life are you exercising? Have you set proper boundaries to maintain favor with God and man? Are you doing what it takes to earn the respect of your family, friends and those who depend on you? [Real fans]
Do you keep yourself in check with proven, winning strategies or do you let anything go in your life? How do you handle those temptations that run across your mind from time to time? How do you handle your own shadows? Your own past? Your own secrets? Your own skeletons? Your own insecurities? [Humility & Accountability]
See, there’s a lot of stuff that can get you disqualified from the game …. How will you handle those?
Before I go, allow me to offer you this thought; no matter how uncomfortable it may seem, stay with the discipline! Know this; All great athletes do and it will be no different with you. In fact, being disciplined will even be more important for you in life than it will be for your favorite athlete in the game! Make no mistake about it, you will always have the MOST to win or lose and YOU will always be the real star.
So, I say to you, let your light shine bright as it ought to and as long as it has been ordained to by living with discipline that at times may seem painful.
The reality, however is that you can choose discipline or disqualification BUT discipline is BETTER!
Stay in the game CHAMP.
Mel Keyes, native Brooklynite is the pastor of The Joshua House of Worship, a multi-cultural and multigenerational congregation located on the west side of San Antonio, Texas. He’s been married to the lovely Kendra Keyes for twenty five years, with three children and two grandchildren. He is a graduate of The Baptist University of the Americas and Dallas Baptist University. He is the author of Hell To The
Know, How To Get From The Hell You’re Living In To The Life You Were Meant To Live.” Mel is also the founder of JoshuaGenerationRadio.org. as well as his life coaching practice “ Master Keyes Coaching & Consulting” and A Director With Total Life Changes. Determined to build his life on vision, Mel lives his life around three core principles of his personal vision for Ministry, Entrepreneurship & Leadership:
To passionately serve God, my family, friends and others around me through strong, loving, disciple making MINISTRY.
To empower armies of disciples through life transforming ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
To change the world around me through learning and practicing Christ centered, servant LEADERSHIP.