1 Corinthians 9:19-27
"I beat my body and make it my slave so that ... I myself will not be disqualified ..." (v.27)
A third area of life in which we need self-control is that which has to do with bodily indulgence. The body, by its very nature, is comfort-loving and too much comfort is debilitating to the soul. The mother of John Wesley is reported to have said: "Whatever increases the strength and authority of your body over your mind, however innocent it may be in itself -- that thing is sin to you." David Hill puts it this way: "There is before each one of us an altar of sacrifice, unseen but real and present; and on this altar we are called to offer ourselves. There is some crucifixion of the flesh, some physical self-sacrifice, the abandonment of some bodily indulgence which the spirit of man knows that he is called to make."What are some of the things our bodies clamor for? One is food -- and generally speaking, we eat far more than is good for us. Another thing the body clamors for is sleep.
People differ in the amount of sleep that they need, but we must watch that we do not spend more time in bed than is good for us. How delighted, too, the body becomes with the luxuries of life. It has been said that the luxuries of one generation become the bare necessities of the next.
We must not go too far and see the body as an enemy that has to be continuously afflicted. Self-control helps the Christian to offer to God an obedient personality which is not cloyed by comfort or sluggish from indulgence, but sensitive to guidance and ready for all His perfect will.
O Father, once again I ask that You dwell deep within me by Your Spirit and help me to be free from the clamoring desires that would cancel out my effectiveness. I ask this in and through Your peerless and precious Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What causes some to backslide?
2. What are your eating habits like?