Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord? – I Cor 9:1
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!- I Cor 9:24
And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. – I Cor 11:1
Power-packed stuff here. Paul is writing to a church and lays it out. He is a guy full of energy. He says:
1. My work causes people to belong to the Lord.
2. I am running to win.
3. My running is worth being imitated.
My work causes people to belong to the Lord. That is a sobering reminder. I have been mindful of that lately. There are people who come to know the Lord because of the work I am involved in. I know that I am a small part of what God is doing in them, but I non-the-less have a part. My work has great value. Eternal value. This job is the most valuable job I have had. I may not get fantastic pay or amazing benefits – or, maybe I do. The payoff is that people are coming to belong to the Lord. Wow, that is pretty humbling. Who are some people who you are influencing toward Christ? I bet there are more than you think.
Run to win. Sometimes I run to get by. Sometimes I run to survive. I need to run to win. Take every advantage. Leverage everything available. Nothing is off limits. Don’t run to run with the pack. Don’t run for 2nd place. Run to win. Run like a champion. Run to be the first one to break the ribbon.
Why do I do things different? I am running to win. Why get crazy focused? Why take days and weeks off? Why spend time in and away from ministry? Why pace myself? I am running to win. What can you do to run better?
Run in such a way that others want to imitate it. Part of my role is to inspire people. To make them want to run like me. To inspire them to be like me. Pause. Take that in. Am I living a life worth being imitated? Could I really say to others “Do what I am doing?” I must live with integrity. What is your biggest integrity struggle?
Father, thanks for the reminder that our work has value, and that the value is not expressed in the amount of our paycheck but in people knowing you. Help us to run like wise champions, in such a way that others will want to imitate us. In the name of your Son. Amen.