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October 20, 2022
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Run in such a way
We read in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
In the world of Paul, only those who finish first in the race get the prize. Paul’s main point is that when we decide to run the Christian race, our goal is simply not to participate. We are not there to simply be counted as a contestant.
We are called to the race to actually finish the race. No one gets a price for starting the race. Only those who finish the race would obtain the prize.
Paul continued that the worldly race that athletes participate in can only give a temporary and perishable crown, but we aim for something far greater. We aim for the imperishable crown of eternal life. At the end of the race, we will be given a crown to rule in God’s Kingdom.
With this in mind, Paul was telling us that our run should be sure. We must run this race with full confidence that we will receive the prize once we finish the race. We fight by running with the end goal in mind. We have a plan. We made a conscious decision that we will do our best.
Discipline plays a huge role in our Christian race. Athletes discipline themselves to become the best in their sports. No one wins an Olympic medal simply by wishing to have one. No, you’ve got to put in the hard work. Day in, day out, you must be willing to make the necessary sacrifice to be ready for the competition.
Thus, if you want to win the Christian race, you must and should discipline yourself. At the same time, you also ask for God’s help. We can never do it all by ourselves.
So, let’s run with victory in mind. Let’s run with the strongest intention to finish the race. Let’s run with the assurance that the work God has started in us will bring it to completion until we reach the finish line.
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