“Being Intentional And Focused!”(I Cor.9:24-27).
Once upon a time ancient Christian monks advocated flagellation as the path to salvation. Flagellation is “the practice of whipping yourself or someone else, especially as a religious practice, for punishment…”
One of the passages which prompted such actions is our text for today in which Paul told the Corinthians, “…I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be left out.”
It is always important to note the literary genre of a passage of Scripture so as not to apply it wrongly. The Bible is full of idioms and figures of speech which must be understood as such.
Some times we ignorantly misapply the words of scripture through the lack of consideration of a literary genre, leading to faulty interpretation.
In very few verses, Paul uses the imagery of two sporting activities familiar to his audience to demonstrate the importance of disciplining the flesh for an upward spiritual attainment.
The flesh is diametrically opposed to the spirit and can only align with the spirit under strict discipline.
Before his arrest, Jesus’ last words to his three close friends included,:“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”(Mk.14:38b).
There is no doubt that it is the spirit that will live in eternity, but as long as the body is currently housing the spirit, if not well disciplined the body can contaminate the spirit.
Paul’s message is particularly directed to us messengers of the gospel. By messengers we mean whoever has received the good news and must pass it on. There is a prize which we must work for, but we cannot be carpenters repairing the roofs of other people’s houses while our own leaks profusely. I cannot be a drum maker only to die and there is no drum to drum at my funeral.
To win the Christian race and receive the prize, we must not run aimlessly. To win a boxing competition one should not box as if beating the air. It needs preparation before the encounter.
Therefore, aim for the spiritual prize by curbing the excesses and the allurement of the flesh.
Prayer: Holy Spirit guide me daily away from fleshly allurement as I aim for the spiritual prize. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!
Prayer point: Pray for discipline of the flesh.
Rev Babila Fochang.
“Arm Yourself With The Same Attitude Of Suffering In The Body…!”(I Pt.4:1-6).The emphasis of “Joy to the world…” at Christmas more often than not multiply