Discipleship 13 – discipline your body

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the need for a disciplined life-style.


1 Corinthians 9:24-27

24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26  So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


Note: The context of this portion is Pauls’ defense in his rights as an apostle and his commitment to preaching the gospel at the cost of his comforts.

  1. What do you think Paul means when he writes about being “disqualified”? (verse 27)
  2. So why should Paul “discipline his body to keep it under control”? (verse 25)
  3. What could Paul mean to “not run aimlessly… not box … the air”? (verse 26)
  4. Which one word in verse 25 could best summarize Paul’s appeal in this paragraph?


Consider the temptations you are most vulnerable to.  It helps to “play the movie forward” so to speak.

  1. Which desires/ passions you have, if left unchecked, would ruin your life? Why or how?
  2. Which desires/passions you have in your heart, if left unchecked, could lead you away from Christ and your faith in God? Why and how?
  3. What do you do as a lifestyle to “exercise self-control” and to “discipline [your] body to keep it under control”?
  4. Which disciplines / habits should you grow in to prevent you from falling into such a destructive lifestyle?


Confess the weakness of your sinful self and your need for God’s grace, then pray for God’s help to grow in self-control.