24Do 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.
25Everyone 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.
26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
During small group time at Bow Down this week several weeks ago we disected and discussed I Corinthians 9:24-27…. It was the splash of water in the face that I desperately needed!
My thoughts colored…
24Do you not know (I wonder if this was sarcastic? or a repremand, another translation says “Remember” Julie, you know this – this is a reminder, again) that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize(the goal, the purpose)? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (what is the purpose, to win, to get the prize – not to just go through the motions, not to just attend, to get the prize)
25Everyone (not just some, everyone) who competes (in it to win, not on the sidelines, not slacking) in the games goes into strict (strict) training (intentional time devoted to the purpose of the race, and being prepared, being ready, intentional time side aside to focus, Have I trained well? Will I get hurt because of my lack of training?). They do it to get a crown that will not last (this world has nothing for me, or for them); but we (we, people with Christ’s purpose, not they, not focused on fading things, we, us) do it to get a crown that will last forever (temporal vs. eternal perspective eternal is way more valuable – am I focusing on training for here, and now, or eternity). 26Therefore I (I wonder if Paul is comparing himself to those he is writing to, it switches from “we” to “I” – leading me to believe that to those he is writing are doing the opposite of the following list? ) do not run like a man running aimlessly (why am I running, where am I running, what is my purpose, if I am running, is it aimless? Am I exerting the full effort into aimless running in the wrong direction, going through the motions? People looking on, do they know my purpose, my goal, or do they just wonder what the heck I am doing? What is her purpose, what’s the point, she is all worked up, and getting tired running in the wrong direction!!) ; I do not fight like a man beating the air(Same as above, trained, full effort going into futile works). 27No(NO!), I beat (not spoil, not pamper, not give into every whim) my body and make it my slave (Yikes! Full submission, ownership of my thoughts and actions) so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (is this like “depart from me I never knew you” disqualified?) for the prize.
I have been digesting these verses for the last several weeks… I can’t get my mind off of them. Praise God!
I have not been living up to what I know that God wants be to be faithful to, I have as one woman said we can be “Focused on relieving temporal earthy pressures – and not living up to Christ’s purpose”. Yep! That describes it!
How many of the decisions I make, or don’t make, are based on relieving these earthly pressures? I am working 2 part time jobs, plus other odd jobs or hours when they come up, running around all of creation from job to job, just to have just enough to just get by – yet I have not even typed out an action plan for my own vision. Aimless.
Yes, God has been faithful to provide – but how long will He sustain me, when I know that I am not in the center of His will? Isn’t delayed obedience disobedience?
My mind is racing, I hope that these thoughts will continue to not only run through my mind – but make their way down to focused and purposeful feet.