The Christian life is often compared to a race in the Bible, and we know that training to compete in any athletic competition requires a degree of discipline and self-control by the one who competes.

It takes discipline and self-control to follow the commands of God and live a holy life.

The apostle Paul compared his own spiritual life to a race when he said, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24).

He then spoke of his own personal need for discipline by stating, “Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air.

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (vv.26, 27).

In the above passage Paul has emphasised that our spiritual lives form the core of our character.

As we spend time in the disciplines of the spirit, we’re like runners or boxers.

While runners rivet their attention on the finish line and run a disciplined race towards it, so also boxers build up their physical stamina so that their legs will hold out for the final rounds.

Godly leaders need to cultivate this same kind of spiritual fitness.

If you want to be an effective leader, identify the habits you need to build into your life so you can lead with diligence — habits such as physical fitness, balance between work and home, financial and personal accountability, proactivity in work place, and the like.

Strap on your shoes and get going.

Disciplined habits will give you the momentum you need to not only move forward, but also to run your earthly race with strength and purpose.

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