Leadership Requires Personal Discipline (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

To become a respected leader, who is followed and looked up to requires a lot of hard work. This does not just stem from how efficiently goals and aspirations are met, or how determined and charismatic ones’ personality is. It goes beyond these elements and takes its roots from personal discipline. This feature is the key ingredient needed to achieve the former qualities. But, what is personal discipline exactly? Well, it takes on various forms. Ranging from being able to control your emotions, make informed and calculated decisions, to staying on the right track and ensuring self-motivation. It also helps reach the sphere of self-awareness and self-actualization; the vital component needed to define, identify and execute actions needed to achieve ones aims in life.

To reach this stage, one can draw on from the stories provided in biblical texts. One of them is famously known for shedding light on the importance of personal disincline as the stepping stone towards ensuring true victory. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 in this context is often cited as an example to ponder over. Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ, symbolically speaks of how athletes ran in the Isthmian Games that were looked forward to and familiar among the Corinthians.

Paul asks how while running a race, only one emerges as a victor.  If this is so, then why is it that others still put in their hard work and effort to train themselves for the race? Paul then goes on the embark on the wisdom of how one should prepare to run a race that will result in a crown that lasts forever.

This also highlights how efforts to stay focused on a goal combined with personal discipline go a long way. They form the bedrock of who you become in the future. And if it is a leader, then you’re sure to be one that has all the right qualities already in place. Thus allowing you to lead as an example for others.

In this manner, by staying on the path of practicing personal discipline, one can train themselves to emerge as an athlete. One that struggles to win the title of leadership. Only then can this athlete emerge as a true victor in the leadership race. Following the rules of the game and implementing certain guidelines, principles, and discipline does not go to waste. It does play an important role in the grand scheme of things. It helps define how capable and able you are to become a leader.  

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