So far this year we have had the Boat Race, the Grand National, the Six Nations and we still have Wimbledon, the Rugby World Cup to look forward to. The sporting event that I was looking forward to this year was the London Marathon. I was looking forward to it because I was meant to be running in it! Anyhow, let’s move on from thinking about what could have been.
All these sporting events and exercise reminded me of some verses that the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. These are the words that struck a chord -
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize,
These are great words to all Christians and they should remind us:
1. We are in a race,
2. We have a prize to look forward to,
3. We need to be in strict training,
4. Our prize will last forever.
Apostle Paul tells the Corinthian Christians not to run aimlessly. Are we taking our Christian faith seriously? Are we fighting things? If not, have we given into things or let things pass us by.
Paul knew that he was in a race which was tough, but he knew he needed to be disciplined. He needed to make his body for instance ‘his slave’. He knew that his eyes, mind, actions, words would wander and therefore he knew he had to watch these things.
So to apply it to the 21st Century -
What do you let your eyes look at? What magazines, TV or online material do you look at?
What are we thinking about? Are we speaking negative thoughts into our minds?
How do we act? Are we living lives of integrity? Are we the same in church as we are at home?
How is our speech? Are we gossips? Do we use fruity language? Are we encouragers of others?
Well that was quite a workout!
Remember to do those disciplines (Bible, Prayer, Fellowship) and then you won’t be disqualified for the prize like I was this year for the London marathon!
Keep on running for that prize brother and sister.