‘….Run in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours!” (I Cor. 9:24).
We’re confronted today with statements such as: ‘it’s a rat race out there, and the rats are winning,’ Nice guys finish last,’ ‘winning isn’t everything – it’s the only thing!’ Silently but truthfully, such statements define our culture, driving workaholic lifestyles that destroy health, break down family life, and ultimately diminish the spiritual discipline needed to have a growing relationship with God.
Someone may ask what should I do now? Avoid all competition? Opt out of the race? Fold my arms and watch the world go by? No, those are not good options for a follower of Jesus Christ; rather consider the better alternatives as highlighted below:
-Beware of competitiveness that leads to jealousy. Cain’s competitiveness toward his brother Abel led him to murder (Genesis 4:1-8). He tried to put his brother down in order to lift himself up. King Saul attempted killing David when the women sang, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.’ (I Samuel 18: 6-11). Those utterances caused jealousy to grow like cancer in him.
-Understand that by seeking to excel in your calling, you are primarily exalting the beauty of the name of Jesus. Apostle Paul writes: ‘in a race…only one gets the prize…run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes does it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’ (I Cor. 9:24-25) There’s no provision for second-rate effort, no settling for mediocre outcomes.
Therefore let your motive always be: ‘I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me. I’m staying alert and in top condition.’
Getting ahead of others isn’t what it’s about; but maximising all you do for God’s glory! Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Col. 3:23).
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