Run to win.
This is one of the more popular passages in the New Testament, this little section on running the race and competing to win.
But most of the chapter is not about races at all. It’s actually about how the people aren’t doing their job taking care of Paul. Instead, Paul is taking care of himself. Unlike most of the other ministers and apostles of the day, Paul isn’t getting physical and financial support. No one is taking care of those needs. Instead, he’s floating the bill himself.
So what’s that have to do with running the race?
The race has nothing to do with getting financial support or not getting support. After all, it’s not wrong to receive money for doing ministry work. Rather, Paul is saying that just wasn’t in the cards for him. And he’s not letting that slow him down, or complaining about it, or guilting people to support him, or rallying support campaigns. He’s saying that he has kept his eyes on the main thing — that is, sharing the Message with everyone who would hear it. Teaching and mentoring others — that was Paul’s forte. And he was going to go all out doing it!
May we do the same, regardless of what our day-to-day work or financial support looks like.