Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack keep on running to win, but only one receives the victor’s prize? Yet each one of you must run the race to be victorious. [1 Corinthians 9:24 TPT]
Anyone who is genuinely leading him/herself will tell you that it is not an easy road to ply. The dedication, motivation, discipline, consistency, and effort that it requires can become overwhelming. Yet, each one has to run the race of self-leadership with the goal of receiving the prize. This means that when you trip or fall at any point in time, you are expected to pick yourself up and keep moving. This surely requires grace.
Let us consider athletes and the several sacrifices they make to be able to perform at their best. Some literally stay away from their families for long periods, miss out on the finger-licking foods, spend hours training each day, while not being able to hang out with their friends perhaps as much as they would have liked to. They do all these, so they can be the best at what they do. If you were an athlete, and you went through a similar routine, your respect for your colleague who wins the race will go through the roof. Do not take lightly the sacrifices others are making in order to lead themselves.
When you lead yourselves, you appreciate the need for grace for yourself and other people. You cease to be critical about leaders when you start leading yourself. This is because you quickly begin to see the weight they carry daily. This does not mean you become tolerant of the sin, flaws, and weaknesses in the lives of leaders as a norm, rather, it means you address them in love and with the aim of restoring them to win their race. Sadly, we are in a day and age where even young people with no understanding rise up and start condemning their leaders.
Keep your eyes on the prize (Christ-likeness) and keep running to win. Rest on the grace that God freely makes available to you through Jesus, and you will receive the victor’s prize. Help those who are struggling by extending the same grace that you have received.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the grace to run and win the race. Please help me not to further deepen the wounds of other runners, but to rather extend the grace You have shown me. Amen.
Further Reading: 2 Timothy 4:7–8
Bible In One Year: Matthew [20–23]