Fight One More Round

It happened 120 years ago. On September 7, 1892, James J. Corbett won the first heavyweight championship prize-fight in which the contestants used boxing gloves. Corbett won the match against John L. Sullivan with a knockout in the twenty-first round.  That’s right the 21st round!  However three-year earlier Corbett had to go 27 rounds, boxing with bare knuckles, to defeat fellow hall-of-famer Joe Choynski.

James J. Corbett also had a way with words.  Knowing his background, we can appreciate them even better when he said:

              “Fight one more round. 

               When your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the center of the ring,  fight one more round. 

               When your arms as so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come on guard, fight one more round. 

                When your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and you are so tired that you wish your opponent would crack you on the jaw and put you to sleep, fight one more round—remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.”

This is good advice, not only for boxing, but for life.  Perseverance pays off. It is a virtue found in people who are successful. It is also true spiritually.

The apostle Paul might not have been a boxer, but he used the imagery when he admonished “…I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:26b-27, NASU)

Paul realized that to “win” in the “ring of life”, one had to make his punches count. They had to reach their target.  Shadow boxing wouldn’t cut it! His punches needed to land. He needed a goal. An aim.  A target.  Spiritually he was fighting for the Lord.  For truth. For Righteousness.  And he was fighting to land his serious blow to his opponent the Devil. Guess what?  Paul’s fight is still our fight today. We must enter the spiritual ring and “fight the good fight of faith.”  The devil is a tough opponent.  He’s a wicked rascal and full of shenanigans.  He’ll hit below the belt.  So, you better be alert.  On guard.  And fight to win.

Also Paul said he needed to exercise discipline if he was to achieve success.  A champion

prizefighter spends a lot of time in the gym.  He prepares.  Trains.  Exercises.  He is a disciplined athlete.  It takes discipline to beat your body into shape.  To eat right.  To give up pleasures that others are enjoying.  But it is done to win the prize.  Likewise, we must exercise spiritual discipline.  Invest time in spiritual growth.  Train our minds and hearts in godliness.  Practice restraint when temptations come. And exercise the disciplines of Bible study.  Prayer. Worship. Fellowship. Discipleship.

Aren’t there times when life deals us some serious blows and we feel like James J. Corbett?  We are bruised and beaten spiritually.  We are tired, even exhausted.  We can hardly go on.  Yet the bell rings and the call comes to answer it.

The truth is we can go on.  We must.  God has given us an inner reserve. Like the determined boxer, we can summons the will to supply the energy we need.  Paul promised the Philippians that God would “supply your every need” (4:19 It is our duty to keep on keeping on.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in!  Don’t give out!  Disqualification is not an option.  You can fight one more round!  Now get up and answer the bell!

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

8 Comments

Filed under Christian Living, Discipleship

8 responses to “Fight One More Round

  1. Aleta

    Thank you for these “fighting words” today, Ken. I had the opportunity to talk with our ladies class recently on running the race set before us. I used this quote I had found many years ago: “One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your entire life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive. No matter who you are or what your position, you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve. If someone is not aware of this contest and expects otherwise, then constant disappointment occurs. People who fail sometimes do not realize that the simple answer to every day achievement is to keep fighting. Health, happiness, and success depend upon the fighting spiriti of each person. The big thing is not what happens to us in life- but what we do with what happens to us.”. ~George H. Allen, former chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

  2. Lavada Freeman

    Wow Bro. Ken!! I was really inspired and moved by this blog!! Yes, there are times in my life when I feel totally beat down and like I can’t go any further but I know it’s God that is keeping me in the fight. I’m trying to be a stronger fighter (Christian) and be disciplined and ready to always answer the bell for Christ.

  3. I found this while putting together a speech for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes rally. When I did a search for the quote “fight one more round.” These are powerful words and a great message!

  4. Pingback: Envision Health | Qualities of a Champion

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