The focus, dedication, and determination of an Olympic athlete. We are called to the same.
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; 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 Corinthians 9.24-27)
It is possible that the apostle Paul may have witnessed one of the first Olympic competitions in Greece, and that these words are reflective of that experience. The pursuit of the lifestyle of a follower of Christ is worthy of such dedication and excellence. Self control and discipline are virtues that should characterize us. A resolute focus on the goal and prize is key in our pursuit.
Paul disciplined himself not merely for the sake of personal character, but for that of an appealing and compelling witness to others. And so with us: our self-control and discipline should be such that others are drawn to the message we live and proclaim.
May we pursue the Christian life with athletic excellence.
©Steve Taylor, 2016 --Used by permission
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