Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Choosing Slavery

I run a bit. I don’t run long, I don’t run far. Certainly don’t run fast. I’m trying to work up to about 45 minutes 4 times a week. I’ve got a ways to go. But that is what I am committed to. My only reason for running is health. I want to keep my weight under control and my fitness at a comfortable level. But I have a serious problem. I live with a liar.

When I come home, he is waiting in my closet. He tells me, it’s too hot, too windy or too late. He tells me I’m too sore, too tired or too busy. He tells me there are other priorities that need my attention. He tells me about my dog that needs to be played with, my kids who need my time and my chores that never end. He also hangs out in the kitchen. He tells me I want food when I don’t need it. He tells me I need ice cream every day. He cares only for the joyful images in the moment of indulgence. He never looks at the life mural that displays the trail of consequences.

So what do I do with this man. He is my old self, the flesh. The one I rejected a long time ago. I've made him my slave. He will do what I say, when I say it. He does not have control over me. I have control. On occasion, I let my guard down, but it’s not the norm. I don’t want you to misunderstand. I don’t hate my self or my body, but he is a liar.

Paul said, "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).

I’ve decided that this verse is important in my struggle against the flesh. The flesh is here and a part of me. But he is my slave. I will beat him into submission in order that I not be disqualified for the prize. You may struggle with the flesh too. Don’t allow it to run your life. Every time you hear one of those lies, remember Paul’s words, “I beat my body and make it my slave.” In the end, you’ll be happier and a better servant of Christ.

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