Bible reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Pete was seven years old when his dad sat him down for a talk.
He said, “Pete, if you’ll listen to me, if you’ll let me teach you the game of basketball, you may be able to get a scholarship someday. If you get a scholarship, you’ll be able to get an education. Not only that,” his dad continued, “if you’re good enough, if you’ll listen to me and work and commit yourself to basketball, maybe you’ll end up on the pro level. Maybe you cloud be in the NBA. And Pete, if you play in the NBA, they’ll pay you play basketball.”
At that time-at the age of seven-Pete had already been playing basketball for three years. But from that moment on, he became serious about the game. He played six to ten hours a day during summertime. When everyone else is was out playing or swimming with friends, Pete was in the gym, shooting baskets by himself. He would get up every morning and jog for two miles into town, dribbling a basketball beside him as he ran.. And at seven o’clock in the evening, he’d dribble the basketball all the way home. When he got his 1st bicycle, he learned to dribble the ball beside the bike as he rode.
As a result of those years of self-control and dedication, “Pistol” Pete Maravich got a scholarship to college. He became the all-time leading scorer in the history of college basketball, setting sixty records in the NCAA. He also became one of the greatest pro basketball players of all time, a five time NBA all-star who was elected to the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1987.
Now, not everyone can be Pete Maravich. But you don’t have to be him to discover that self-control has a lot of benefits. It can make you a better athlete. It can make you a better student. It can make you a better listener, a better painter, a better drummer. It can make you a better friend. It can make you a better person.
Self-control wont save you from sin; only Jesus can do that. It won’t get you to heaven; only Jesus can do that. But learning to be self-controlled can help you to resist temptation. I t can help you to make the right decisions. And that can win for you a prize that will never fade away.
Pray: “Jesus, thank you for your power in my life. Thank you for helping me to become more self-controlled as I trust in you. Praise you in Jesus’ name, Amen.”