1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 (message), 1 Timothy 4: 7 (message), Micah 7: 8, Galatians 5: 22, Daniel 11: 32
I have been absolutely glued to the coverage of the olympics recently. I love competition especially when its nation vs. nation. The worlds finest descending in one place to go head to head.
I take the example of a great athletes discipline in understanding how to live a great life, heres why:
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth saying,
"You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally."
In life we have to train hard. Like running a race, you don't just turn up and expect to do well, you have to prepare well first.
Paul also recognised the following,
"Exercise daily in God - no spiritual flabbiness please! Workouts in the gym are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever"
So with those two things in mind here's seven things great athletes do to run a great race that will help you to live a great life :-
1) Be passionate & hungry
Athletes are hungry for victory, they all want to win.
Be passionate to live fully and passionate to find God
2) Train consistently
Athletes give their whole life to their dream of winning and they exercise daily.
Daily give your heart to God, pray and get in your instruction book for life (the Bible).
3) Cut junk out of your diet
Chocolate, pies and fatty foods taste nice but are no good for running a race.
In the same way there's junk like selfishness, drunkenness, sexual lust etc. which may taste nice but just isn't any good for a great race.
4) Get a great coach
To be the best, you need somebody to push your limits, encourage your strengths and correct your weaknesses, athletes do this and we need mentors who will do the same for every aspect of our lives
5) Be ready to go
Athletes don't need to be told to go when the gun bangs.
We should be ready to live for Christ at all times, to evangelise, preach in season and out of season good news
Athletes are required to overcome injuries, obstacles and mental barriers.
You are required to get up when you fall (Micah 7: 8)
Don't let sin keep you down, shake it off, get up and keep running.
7)Run to win
Good training brings good results. You win.
Paul identified good results as being the following :-
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5: 22)
It says in Daniel 11: 32 that those that know God will be strong and carry out great exploits.
Be part of an audacious generation that knows God and runs an exceptional race - run for eternal gold !!The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Regional Youth Director
View all Life Files by Matt Deaville