An Imperishable Crown
Do you not know that those who run in a race all
run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And 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 9:24-25)
Athletes are willing to push themselves harder and
longer and farther than anyone else. They strive to bring their bodies and
minds completely under control so that they excel and receive a prize. Others
go home to relax, but athletes continue to train. While most people protect
themselves from any form of discomfort, athletes push themselves to the limits
of their endurance. While some remain satisfied with mediocre performance,
athletes pay any price for excellence. Paul said that despite their most
valiant efforts, the athletes’ successes and prizes are eventually forgotten.
Even the greatest athletic achievements have not affected eternity.
If an athlete can be motivated to make incredible
sacrifices for a perishable reward, how much more ought Christians to strive
for an imperishable one? If an athlete will labor day after day in order to receive
glory from others, how much harder ought Christians to work for the “well done”
of their Master? Are you striving to bring your body into subjection for the
glory of God? Are you training your mind to think the thoughts of God rather
than thoughts of the world? Are you disciplining your life in prayer? When
others are sleeping, are you interceding? Have you studied God’s word so
diligently that you are prepared to find answers to the challenges you face?
Have you equipped yourself in evangelism so that you are ready to share your
faith? Have you prepared yourself as a Christian in order to qualify for the
imperishable crown that awaits you?