1 Corinthians 9:27 – But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit.] (AMP)
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body. (NIV)
"Feel my finger!" she cried. "It isn't wet. It doesn't have bumps on it. I have self control!" Our granddaughter had sucked that same digit every day since birth. All alone in her bedroom, she chose to discipline herself and to refuse to put it in her mouth ever again.
I rejoiced with her, but I was ashamed of my own lack of self-control behind closed doors. When was the last time that I simply decided not to take a second helping of food, or refused to take a bite of chocolate or a slice of cake?
Oh sure, we do that in public. We don't want our friends, family, or even strangers to watch us chow down on three or four candy bars.
God's diet/exercise/stop smoking/stop swearing/etc. plan is clear. We need to regard our bodies as His temple and to take care of them.
When we ask God for help with our bad habits, He gives us the strength we need, when we need it. For our part, we need to receive His help by faith, and take the next step. With the power of His Holy Spirit, we can resist temptation, and guard the holiness of His temple. God will give us the strength to go for a walk, but we are the ones who have to put on our shoes.
Prayer: Lord, we confess our lack of discipline behind closed doors. Give us the strength to decide to discipline our bodies, like the boxer, and the courage to follow through on our decisions. In Jesus' name. Amen.