Supplement . . . self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness. —2 Peter 1:5–6
For years I’ve worked to add virtue and knowledge to my faith, but I’ve never sufficiently cultivated self-control and steadfastness. Therefore, I’ve not gone on to experience the level of godliness, brotherly kindness, and love I long to experience.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul says, “I discipline my body” (v. 27). The word for discipline means “pummel” or “beat black and blue.” This isn’t in the sense of abuse, however, but control. Paul’s body wasn’t going to be his master; rather Jesus would.
Paul goes on to say, “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” That’s a sobering passage to me as a teacher of God’s Word, because I realize that if I don’t develop self-control, then I’m vulnerable to becoming a slave to my body and passions. There’s a chance I’m setting myself up to be sidelined in this race. Instead of being “unfit” as some translations say, I want to finish the race strong and be a valuable servant of the Lord.
Make it Personal
As you think about your life, what is your “master”? Is it your body? Your emotions? Your work? Your phone? Or is it Jesus?