Monday, January 28, 2013
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown… 1 Corinthians 9:25
The training of an athlete is absolutely purposeful. Every part of it has a reason and an aim, so that the athlete is fully prepared to compete and win the contest.
So how does a runner train?
Runners use a variety of tactics to train; they do more than just run around every day. Diet, coaching, mental preparation, supporting exercises to strengthen muscles/tendons, and yes, actually running…each one of these disciplines are a part of the training plan.
The readers in Corinth likely would have known about the athletes’ strict training requirements, and they would also have been able to see the parallels in Christian training (i.e. – training to be like Christ).
Let’s see what we can learn from these parallels…
Dieting for the purpose of dieting never works. Watching what I eat because I know that affects my ability to run well is very effective. The same is true for the Christian. Our spiritual diet is Scripture. But reading Scripture for the purpose of just reading Scripture makes no impact on our lives.
Peter addressed this in one of his letters:
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation 1 Peter 2:2
Scripture is the primary means for us to grow up and develop our new relationship with Christ.
Having a poor diet leaves us weak. We won’t have the strength to run well because we don’t know God well.
We also must recognize that we can’t digest the entirety of Scripture all at once…therefore, we need a diet plan. There are many ways to divide up sections of Scripture. Choose one parable, one character, or one psalm and ask yourself what you can learn about God from that passage.
If you do not feel confident in your handling of Scripture, or are unsure of where to start…then you could likely benefit from the athlete parallel we’ll look at tomorrow.