What Christians Can Learn From Olympic Athletes…
Another passage in which Paul uses the metaphor of a race is Galatians 2:1-2. There Paul tells how he had visited Christian leaders in Jerusalem in order to check with them the gospel he preached to the Gentiles. What was his reason for taking such care? “For fear that I was running or had run my race in vain” (NAS). It was vital to Paul that he knew, believed, and taught God’s truth. This was the way that he “ran his race.” It was in peaceful confidence that Paul approached the end of his life. Anticipating his impending martyrdom in Rome, he wrote to his young protégé, Timothy, “The time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
These Are The Tools For The Christian Life
We don’t know if Paul had been an athlete in his younger years. In these references to the Olympic races, he certainly showed deep interest in and understanding of competitive running. He used that understanding of the Olympic races to illustrate the basics of the Christian life. A runner must train for his race, know the rules, and commit to winning. A believer must endure hardship, exercise absolute and enduring faith in the Word of God, and keep his eyes on the goal. In the power of the cross, the believer grows more and more like the Savior. Despite obstacles, challenges, temptations, and even the threat of death, the Christian continues to run the race Christ has marked out for him.