In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (TLB)
If you want to be the best at anything in life, you must deny yourself from having or doing anything that would keep you from operating at your best. It takes sacrifice to succeed. Do you want success in marriage? It takes sacrifice – you can’t expect everything to go your way all the time. Do you want success in living a healthier lifestyle? It takes sacrifice – there are certain foods that you must reduce or eliminate from your diet. Do you want success in school? It takes sacrifice – while everyone else is at the mall, you need to study.
Reread the following verse: “So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step.” How should we run to the goal? In a straight line! Stay away from detours or anything that will increase the amount of time it takes for you to reach the goal. Also, this verse tells us that there should be purpose in every step. So, are you wasting time? We all have busy lives. We work long hours and have extremely busy personal lives, but are you working really hard (taking multiple “steps” each day) but making little forward progress? The objective in life is not to take a bunch of random steps then collapse from exhaustion at the end of each day. The objective is for each step that you take to lead to your goal. What will you sacrifice (deny yourself from having or doing) to reach your goal? What can you eliminate from your day so that you can focus more on steps that lead to your goal?