“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24
Have you ever noticed that, at a high school or college sporting event, usually the captains of the teams meet and shake hands a few minutes before the game at half court or at mid-field? It is a time for leaders to demonstrate sportsmanship and respect for the game. They briefly discuss the ground rules for the game with the officials and they are reminded that they are the leaders of their team. These leaders were either voted on by their teammates or picked by their coaches. But they should have leadership characteristics such as integrity, self-control, resilience, accountability, humility, positivity and confidence. They need to lead by example and be selfless.
Some captains are excellent leaders and some captains are not. Leadership skills are not common, but they can be developed and taught. Picking the leaders is a key to success for any team.
To live and lead on the team that loves Jesus Christ is a war. It is a battle of good (Christ) – such as loving and serving others, compassion and patience – versus evil (Satan) – such as selfishness, greed, human trafficking and abortion. Every single person has spiritual gifts that are indispensable (1Cor 12:22) in the battle. Every little example you set and every word you say is crucial. If everybody on the team is doing their part, then you have a team that is difficult to defeat. If you have selfless, patient leaders, it can make a big difference. What are the priorities in your life?
Consider this priority: “He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30
Look at the words of Jesus Christ:
“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.” – Matthew 12:30 MSG
To succeed, we need to know the word of God. “Run in such a way as to get the prize.” – 1 Cor 9:24b. This verse is about how we live our lives.
Let’s live as leaders with integrity, self-control and resilience.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25
An athlete is in strict training for a blue ribbon or gold medal. The Christian is in strict training for the crown of eternal life in heaven with Christ.
We need teamwork and leaders in this fight against evil. Be alert and in top condition. Know the Bible. Use God’s weapons such as kindness, gentleness and self-control. Use your spiritual gifts to get the prize!