Worth the Effort
You don’t need athletic ability to run the Christian race, but it helps to have a strong heart.
When an athlete steps up on the award platform to receive the gold medal, there is no regret about the hours of hard work spent in training. Winning the prize makes all of the self-discipline worthwhile. The same is true of the Christian life–just like an athlete who adheres to a strict fitness and diet program, a Christian must stay away from people and places that would be detrimental to living a life that honors God.
Of course, there is much more to motivate a Christian than a gold medal. In an athletic competition, only one person wins the gold medal. But every Christian wins, and not just at the end of the “race” when you will meet Jesus in heaven. The training program for Christianity (prayer, Bible reading, fellowship with other Christians) can bring you closer to God on a daily basis, and that prize makes the self-discipline worthwhile.
Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You must also run in such a way that you will win. 1 Corinthians 9:24