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 – 1 Corinthians 9:27 NLT.
The stage was set and the time everyone had been looking forward to had arrived. Two men who have grown to despise each other are about to finally put the matter to rest: who is the best between them? Everyone from every nation was on the edge of their seat and ready to witness the greatest sport spectacle of that year. People to this day still ask Where were you? when this happened. The first nation knew that their man was better yet the other had an ace up their sleeve. Even though eight men took part in the race everyone’s focus was on lane three and six.
The race begins and it’s clear that lane six is faster than everyone. You can even see the disappointed look of lane three when he realizes he is losing the race. Lane six wins the race and is on top of the world, setting a new world record in the process. He has obliterated everyone and wins by more than two meters. His nation is over the moon and he has become an instant hero. Hours later we then discover he used a banned substance and is then stripped off his medal. He has been disqualified and nothing he says will change our minds about his guilt. He is now a disgrace to himself and his nation.
With every race there are rules and guidelines that dictate how we compete. To be able to compete and possibly win you have to be familiar with the rules so that you don’t run the risk of being disqualified. Paul in above Scripture was mindful of rules and regulations. His interest was not only helping others to win, but also not to be disqualified himself. The saddest thing in Christianity is people starting the race well and somewhere along the line they forget their own race and only focus on others. They will be mentioned in thousands of speeches yet they themselves will not make it to the finish line. Though they may finish, like lane six they will be stripped off their crown because they have broken the rules. They have forgotten that they too were running. They were not running to finish strong.
GOD has called us to preach to nations and in the process make disciples. Though we may be following this mandate He still expects us to also run our personal race. May we not be caught up in the business of the kingdom and forget to take stock of our own business. We are meant to take up our own cross and follow Jesus. We are meant to put off everything that hinders and sin that so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1).
The saddest thing in Christianity is people starting the race well and somewhere along the line they forget their own race and only focus on others