“Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith….” Hebrews 12:1-2a
Why do you run? Do you run because it’s the right thing to do? Or because people are watching, and you can’t give up? Or do you run because you’re forced by your parents? For every run, there is a reason.
At the time the Bible was written, athletes entered the Olympics to bring glory to their country. Running the race was never about the people cheering in the stands. It was about the end goal of glory. And it’s the same with our race. We shouldn’t run because there are people watching, “for the love of Christ compels us…” (2 Corinthians 5:14)
I run because I’m in it for Jesus, although some days I lose that perspective.
I get caught up in the “great cloud of witnesses,” instead of “looking unto Jesus.” The legacies of faith and the people around us who are after the same Goal are not designed to be sources of motivation. Jesus is the motivation. The others are simply His blessings of encouragement.
God places these people in our lives for accountability, too. Isn’t it easier to give up when no one is watching? When there’s no one there to say- “I know how you’re feeling, but you’ve gotta keep pressing on”? The danger comes in listening to the people around us more than we listen to God. There are times in my life where God has secluded me from friends. In those times, I have learned to rely heavily upon Him for advice and encouragement. But, God wants us to rely on Him with that same depth consistently- as if He is the only One, regardless of the other people in our lives.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 Maybe it’s time for a heart check. If we do all the right things for the wrong motivation, we aren’t bringing glory to God. And isn’t that why we run?