Many people have likened the practice of spiritual disciplines to such physical training. Scripture itself does so in passages like 1 Corinthians 9:24–27; 1 Timothy 4:7–8; 2 Timothy 4:7; and Hebrews 12:1–2. Likewise, in his book , The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, Dallas Willard compares the regular practice of spiritual disciplines to the preparation of an athlete for game time. “A baseball player who expects to excel in the game without adequate exercise of his body is no more ridiculous than the Christian who hopes to be able to act in the manner of Christ when put to the test without the appropriate exercise in godly living” (Willard, Spirit of the Disciplines, 4). There are ample examples of athletes and their regimens for game preparation. A quick search of ESPN.com finds articles on chess players to golfers to Pro Bowl football players and their means of preparing for competition.
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