1 Corinthians 9:15-27
15 But I haven’t used any of those rights. And I’m not writing because I hope you will do things like that for me. I would rather die than have anyone take away my pride in my work. 16 But when I preach the good news, I can’t brag. I have to preach it. How terrible it will be for me if I do not preach the good news! 17 If I preach because I want to, I get a reward. If I preach because I have to, I’m only doing my duty. 18 Then what reward do I get? Here is what it is. I am able to preach the good news free of charge. And I can do it without making use of my rights when I preach it. 19 I am free. I don’t belong to anyone. But I make myself a slave to everyone. I do it to win as many as I can to Christ. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew. That was to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one who was under the law, even though I myself am not under the law. That was to win those under the law. 21 To those who don’t have the law I became like one who doesn’t have the law. I am not free from God’s law. I am under Christ’s law. Now I can win those who don’t have the law. 22 To those who are weak I became weak. That was to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that in all possible ways I might save some. 23 I do all of that because of the good news. And I want to share in its blessings. 24 In a race all the runners run. But only one gets the prize. You know that, don’t you? So run in a way that will get you the prize. 25 All who take part in the games train hard. They do it to get a crown that will not last. But we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 So I do not run like someone who doesn’t run toward the finish line. I do not fight like a boxer who hits nothing but air. 27 No, I train my body and bring it under control. Then after I have preached to others, I myself will not break the rules and fail to win the prize.
Paul pulls on the picture of his (our) life as a race – a theme he uses in his letters several times. To run with purpose, run to win & to run not to exclude others but to bring them into the race as well, to win them to Jesus so that they too can win the ultimate prize – eternal life.
Paul adapts his race, as the situation and person requires.
This is quite the challenge. Do I see my life as a race toward eternal life, do I look to see who is around me to bring them along with me? Do I adapt my life not to be the same but to at least be able to have a conversation & be heard by them?
Father, I know that I don’t do this, I pray that in some measure I’d have a heart like Paul’s .. keeping my bearings on Christ but attempt to lead those I do meet into a God-saved life. (Message) Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson