1 Corinthian 9: A Worthy Prize
“Do you not know
that those who run in a race all run,
but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win.”
Measured breaths, eyes on the finish line, and a silver dollar dancing in my mind. My small 8-year-old frame set on long legs was built for sprinting. The whistle blew. My blonde pigtails flew in the breeze. The silver dollar became mine. The story would have ended differently had the race been a marathon.
A writer, who has written for any length of time, understands the run to publication is not a sprint but a marathon. To finish one keeps her eyes on the finish line and the prize. The trick comes in recognizing whether the prize is worth the discipline needed to reach the goal. For me, the goal has been to encourage and give hope to my readers as the words written point them, or even the one, to faith in Jesus Christ. Publication is the method by which the more can be reached with the gospel.
Paul explains his goal to the Corinthians:
“For though I am free from all men,
I have made myself a slave to all,
that I might win the more …
And I do all things for the sake of the gospel,
that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”
Then Paul tells them to —
“Run in such a way that you may win.”
- Run exercising self-control in all things.
- Run for a worthy purpose—that I may by all means save some.
- Run to receive the imperishable prize—that which is eternal.
The silver dollar I won in that sprint disappeared years ago. Recently, I received a prize in the writing marathon—a publishing agreement for my novel. I look at this prize as a down-payment on the imperishable prize to come. For I pray it points the readers to the One who gives us an eternal victory.
Whatever race you are running be sure an imperishable prize waits at the finish line.
For Thought: Is your life a series of quick sprints with immediate rewards that fade in time? Or are you pacing yourself to run the distance and receive the victor’s eternal crown?
Today’s Reading: Philippians 3:7-14; What is the greatest prize Paul was striving for? What other prizes are contained in the one? What is the final goal?
Our Prayer: Father, you have made yourself known to us through the coming of Jesus Christ. May our hearts and minds be set on Him as our greatest prize; our goal to one day see Him as He is. On that day, may we be found clothed in His righteousness. Until then, be our strength to press on toward the prize.