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Tag Archives: The Corinthians Games

So You Think That You are in Control?

As a struggling perfectionist, I like to think that I can accomplish whatever I set my heart and mind on. Although I am blessed to have succeeded in achieving many of my goals in life, the older I become, the more I seem to experience failure. With defeat comes doubt, making the idea of victory a foreign concept. Meanwhile, just when I think I am heading in the right direction, God throws me a curve. While fasting and praying this week, it’s safe to say that I am not in control.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.

In the passage above, the apostle Paul uses a sports analogy, referencing the Corinthians Games, a famous Track & Field competition. The only problem with athletics is the finality of it all as there is only one winner. Everyone else who falls short ends up a loser, often disappointed by the outcome. In a world of over 7 billion inhabitants, there is always some better than you, eventually taking your championship, crown or title. No matter how hard you train, you can’t control the determination of someone else who wants it more than you.

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

Boxers and runners daily seek to push their bodies to the limits. This desire enables the world’s greatest athletes to break records every year. Yet, you can only go so far as the human flesh has it’s breaking point. In the passage above, the apostle Paul adds a spiritual element to this discussion. This comes to a climax in another letter, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, where Paul realizes, “in my weakness Christ is strongest.” Therefore, as the spiritually mature acknowledge that they are not in control, God’s power will fall upon you.

by Jay Mankus

Running with Giants

Prior to the passage below, the members of the Hall of faith are introduced.  Hebrews chapter 11 serves as a summary of the great men and women of faith who have walked the face of the earth.  I guess you can refer to these individuals as spiritual giants.  The context of running likely represents those inspired to follow in the footsteps of these godly people.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:1-2.

Meanwhile, the apostle Paul eludes to a sporting event in his letter to the church at Corinth.  The Corinthians Games are similar to the modern day Summer Olympics with an emphasis on track and field.  Paul is encouraging readers to see the big picture, only one person is victorious per event.  Therefore, run in such a way which glorifies God.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it, 1 Corinthians 9:24.

In modern times, there are some who take short cuts to get ahead in life.  These decisions shape your character.  The only problem is if you get away with cutting corners, you might be tempted to continue living on the edge.  Any type of compromise will disqualify you.  Therefore, if you want to start running with the giants of the faith, take the advice of God’s Word.  If you want it enough, developing a daily spiritual regiment will get you in shape to make running with these giants possible.

by Jay Mankus

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