So run to win! – 1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT.
There are many things that offend, and they’re everywhere. Ours is to be goal-oriented, to focus, to look to Jesus. We’ve been born again to morph into Him, His likeness or character. We need not bother ourselves about people and things that offend. That’s not the goal or focus. That’s not what we have to become and be like. We’re born again for a reason, for a purpose by the One who saved us. He knows why and has made it amply clear to us. He will accomplish, complete and perfect that which concerns us, just as He promised – Psalm 138:8. So let’s keep a solid front and a flinty determination towards the goal, and shun at all costs distractions that offend. We need to develop a thick skin towards offence if want to succeed in God’s call, purpose and blessing for our lives.
We have a race to run, and to complete victoriously. In a race all run but only one gets the number one spot, so we should run to win and not to lose or be disqualified. All competing athletes go into strict training and into the race with a clear goal. They begin with a goal in mind before they attempt to do anything. They’re super focused because they know what they want to achieve. Their goal drives them. We too must be driven strictly by the goal of pleasing Him who enrolled us in the race. So don’t run aimlessly or fight like someone beating the air, because you will lose and be disqualified for the prize. Paul says, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
Likewise, if we don’t do what we should we’ll be disqualified. However, what we shouldn’t do is to welcome, fete and entertain offences, because surely if we do that we cannot even begin to run the race, let alone win it. We need to be thick-skinned believers, yet gentle and lowly in heart like our Master. A thick skin keeps offence at bay.