Saturday, June 11, 2016

Training in Spiritual Discipline

Posted by Raymund Tamayo

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“But refuse profane and old wives tales, and exercise yourself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profits for a little while: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8
Excelling in any sport means spending hours and hours in training. It doesn't matter whether you are an athlete, musician, or anyone who is trying to be great at something. 

No one achieves excellence in any field without tremendous self-discipline, hours of rigorous training, and a willingness to suffer great hardship in order to achieve the goals one has set for himself.


The apostle Paul often uses illustrations from the world of athletics to help his readers understand the point of his message. 

Writing to Timothy and to other Christians he says that physical training that results in excellence in some sport is good; but he says that if we concentrate on training ourselves in spiritual disciplines or in godliness – that is much better.

In his letter to Timothy, Paul urges Timothy to train himself for godliness the same way disciplined athletes train for competition. Athletes must overcome physical barriers; Timothy faced personality barriers. Several times Paul refers to Timothy’s reserved, timid disposition, which probably contributed to his chronic stomach trouble.

Given his shyness and his half-Jewish, half-Gentile ancestry, Timothy did not seem the ideal choice for someone like Paul. But he was convinced the young man could do the job.

He encouraged Timothy with such phrases as “I charge you” and “I urge you.” He also reminded Timothy of his ordination, a commitment he made long before.

Final Notes:

One of Satan’s primary weapons against Christians is the weapon of discouragement. Sometimes we feel that following Jesus is not worth the price. We may lose our job; our family may not understand; we suffer persecution. 

At times like this we need discipline. Foremost, we need to read, meditate, and soak on God’s Word for encouragement.
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