Check Yourself: Controlling Your Body?

“It is God’s will that . . . each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)

A friend of mine just competed in a half-marathon. That means she ran for 13 miles without stopping. I cannot imagine doing that unless someone was paying me a lot of cash or chasing me with a lot of knives.

check_350When it comes to running, I live like a heathen. Heathens, by Paul’s definition, are committed to doing whatever their bodies tell them will feel good. When I run, mine says, “Stop.” I stop. When my friend runs, hers says “stop” and she disobeys. She controls her body, not the other way around.

The Bible doesn’t really tell us anything about God’s will for half-marathons, but it’s painfully clear about God’s will for any kind of sex outside of heterosexual, married sex. He doesn’t want us to let our bodies make the choices – even when what our bodies want seems irresistible, even when saying “no” to ourselves feels as difficult as running another mile.

“Heathens” don’t know God. Why would they skip doing what feels good for him? If we do know his love and have his power through faith in Jesus, why would we not?

Think: Do you have a strategy for controlling your body in a way that is holy and honorable? Is that strategy working? If not, how could you change your strategy?

Pray: Ask God, whom you know through faith in Jesus, to help you to control your body in a way that is holy and honorable instead of giving into passionate lust like someone who does not know him.

Do: Notice this week the different things your body tells you to do (“eat something,” “go to the bathroom,” “hit the snooze button again,” etc.) and how you decide when to tell your body yes or no.