Apostle Paul often used the metaphor of an athlete in training to represent the life of a Christian. In today’s reading, Apostle Paul’s instructions to believers on how to the run the race well are two-fold. First, we need to run towards the goal in order to get the prize. Thus, you must know the goal, which is eternity. The prize? An imperishable crown. This then implies that not all of us will reach the goal nor will all get the prize. Only those who run with intention will win, which leads us to the second part: self-denial and discipline.
A few days ago, we talked about how although everything is allowed for us, not everything is beneficial. Athletes excel at choosing what is beneficial to their training over what is not. Like eating healthy and exercising daily to prepare for a meet or game. They often push themselves beyond even their personal best, just to keep getting better and better. They discipline their body daily, because they know their goal is worth the sacrifice.
A guy who spends most of his time sitting on the couch eating junk food and only occasionally exercising and eating well won’t be wining the Olympics any time soon. Similarly, saying you believe in Jesus as your Savior and occasionally visiting church and reading your Bible won’t be enough when your life is spent loosely obeying the word of God as you gorge in the pleasures of this word without any self-discipline. A Christian’s life is one of self-denial, humility and obedience. Because we are running to get an imperishable crown and an eternity with our Savior. So, run with intention, friend. It’s worth it.