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Paul’s Disciplined Lifestyle

24 Isn’t it obvious that all runners on the racetrack[a] 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. 25 A true athlete will be disciplined in every respect, practicing constant self-control in order to win a laurel wreath that quickly withers. But we run our race to win a victor’s crown that will last forever. 26 For that reason, I don’t run just for exercise[b] or box like one throwing aimless punches, 27 but I train like a champion athlete. I subdue my body[c] and get it under my control, so that after preaching the good news to others I myself won’t be disqualified.

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Footnotes

  1. 9:24 Or “the runners in a stadium.” This refers to the Pan-Hellenic stadium near Corinth where the Isthmian games were held.
  2. 9:26 Or “I don’t run aimlessly.” That is, Paul ran with his eyes on the goal of ending well.
  3. 9:27 Or “I beat my body black and blue.” This is an obvious metaphor of placing the desires of one’s body as second place to the desires of the Holy Spirit. See Rom. 8:13.

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