Text: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”
Proverbs 16:32 NKJV
After several unsuccessful attempts by different mountaineers with associated casualties, a beekeeper from New Zealand, Edmund Hillary, and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to stand on the summit of the world’s highest peak. On May 29, 1953, they conquered Mount Everest, which at 29,035 feet above sea level is the highest point on earth. As the news of their conquest broke out all over the world, Hillary made this instructive remark, “It’s not the mountain that we conquered but ourselves.” This is to say that, every high flier and those who have continued to maintain their success, are simply living stories of self-conquest. It takes self-control to achieve mastery in every field of human endeavours. “Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither].” (1 Cor 9:25 AMP).
Self-discipline is more difficult because it requires the mastery of self. This is what Plato meant, when he said that, “The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself.” The truth is that, if you don’t conquer yourself, you will eventually be conquered by self. And it is better to conquer self than to conquer others. “It is better to be patient than powerful. It is better to win control over yourself than over whole cities.” (Prov 16:32 GNT).
Records of individuals who lost their beautiful destines or fell from their exalted positions, for not paying attention to this great virtue, abound in the world and in the Bible for our warnings. Adam and Eve who lost their glory for not being able to control their desires; Esau, who lost his birthright for not being able to control his appetite; and Reuben, who lost his position as the firstborn for not being able to control his sexual desire. What about David, who lost his honour and family, for not being able to discipline his eyes? And Judas, who lost his life, for his lust for money?
Friends, indiscipline is a disability that disqualifies in the race of life. No one has power to conquer self, except by divine empowerment. Surrender your life to Jesus today, if you haven’t. And if you have, ask for the help of the Holy Spirit and grace to daily follow His leading.
1. Father, please, strengthen my spirit man and help me to daily bring my body under control in Jesus name.
2. Father, please, help me to give more attention to controlling myself rather than controlling others in Jesus name.
1. Through the Spirit, I daily conquer self.
2. Through the grace of God and a disciplined life, my rising to the top is guaranteed.