One of the jobs I had as a teenager was at a men’s clothing store in downtown El Dorado, Kansas. After school, I would walk to this men’s clothing store and stock the shelves, fold clothing, and wait on customers.
This was an upscale store of fine clothing that included briefs and boxers. While I was unpacking a box, something occured to me: The shorts boxers wear in the ring, looked alot like the boxers I was putting on the shelves.
I jokingly said to a co-worker: In some fights, boxers only box briefly and its possible that some just box in their briefs.
A boxer that briefly boxed was Sonny Liston. I listened to the Ali-Liston rematch in May of 1965. It was a brief contest that only went 1 round for a total of 105 seconds.
The apostle Paul never said anything about briefs and boxers, but he did write about boxing briefly. If we are content with shadow boxing, Paul said, we will never accomplish much. To be successful, we need to discipline the body.
Paul must have liked sports, because he would refer to the dedication of an athlete to make a point: The athlete competes to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
We see this analogy in Hebrews 12:1—let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Far too often we try to live life as though it is a sprint. In reality though, it is a marathon.
Like a boxer or a distance runner, we need to learn to pace ourselves, and we do this by looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
What kind of a training regimen do you have? To fight a good fight, to finish the contest, and to claim your prize, you need to consider a disciplined life of prayer and study.