Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Corinthians 9:25
Athletes are willing to push themselves harder and longer and farther than anyone else. They striveto bring their bodies and minds completely under control so that theyexcel and receive a prize. Others go home to relax, but athletescontinue to train. While most people protect themselves from any formof discomfort, athletes push themselves to the limits of theirendurance. While some remain satisfied with mediocre performance,athletes pay any price for excellence.
Paul said that despite theirmost valiant efforts, the athletes’ successes and prizes areeventually forgotten. Even the greatest athletic achievements have notaffected eternity. If an athlete can be motivated to make incrediblesacrifices for a perishable reward, how much more ought Christians tostrive for an imperishable one? If an athlete will labor day after dayin order to receive glory from others, how much harder oughtChristians to work for the “well done” of their Master? Are youstriving to bring your body into subjection for the glory of God? Areyou training your mind to think the thoughts of God rather thanthoughts of the world? Are you disciplining your life in prayer? Whenothers are sleeping, are you interceding? Have you studied God’s Wordso diligently that you are prepared to find answers to the challengesyou face? Have you equipped yourself in evangelism so that you areready to share your faith? Have you prepared yourself as a Christianin order to qualify for the imperishable crown that awaits you?