“Do you 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 Cor 9:24
God flipped a switch inside me, the first time I heard that verse. There was something powerful awakened within me. I was a young man at the time, but I began to see how the Bible applied to my everyday life, and verses like this made my heart free! Heart wasn’t something just found in athletics, work or love. Heart was a way to live! So here are a few ways to live with heart.
Live with a Heart to Win.
“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore, I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Cor 9:25-27
A competitive nature is approved of by God, He accepts it. He wants us to compete, to be the best version of us we can be! He wants us to bring everything we have to the table–our courage, creativity, our grit and our resilience–and then race to win. We sometimes confuse these characteristics. We think our gifts are weapons to defeat others, but actually they are tools to empower us to our best. If that puts us in first, awesome. It takes heart to win. It takes heart to show up. Every. Single. Day. Use your heart to be the best version of you.
Where are you withholding your best you? How can you break your heart free to unlock your full potential? What would it take, right now, for you to make your step toward a heart to win? It’s within you right now. Go for it.
Live with a Heart of Purpose.
Purposelessness is the enemy. Purposelessness is a haunting resistance that keeps you starting again. And again. And again. Listen, vacillation and uncertainly are enemies of your destiny. You may not know every nook and cranny of your purpose, but you know the ingredients.
People. Jesus. Church. Mission. Hope. There may be others, but that’s a great start.
What other ingredients are a part of your purpose right now? Write them out.
Put them where you can see them. Why? Because you are going to make the stupidest of statements someday when you’re feeling blue. You will say, “I don’t know my purpose.” or “I’m not sure of my purpose.” “Or, I am not where I want to be.” Some version of those destructive phrases will come out of your mouth, and in that moment you better look at that list. As long as that list you’ve created exists to be read, those stupid lies, will have no effect. Every one gets off course now and then. Believe what you wrote when you were free, and you will overcome the invaders.
Live with a Heart of Dignity
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the Word of Life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” – Phil 2:14-16
It’s okay to be proud of yourself and your work. Paul is saying you should take satisfaction in what you do, as long as you do it right and as long as you do it well. This is not an evil kind of pride that flows from haughtiness, or an unrealistic opinion of yourself. This is the good kind of pride. Like the way you feel at the end of a long day when you look back and see the results of a hard days work.
God wants us to feel this kind of pride. He wants us to have a sense of accomplishment and purpose. that our lives count. We aren’t worthless. We aren’t useless. No way! We have value–and each of us has an important contribution to make to Him and to others.
Live with a Heart to Finish.
Everyone can tell you the risks of running your race; racers can tell you the rewards. Finishing has rewards. If you’ve completed your course, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve exceeded expectations, you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve overcome great obstacles to place higher on the leaderboard than others thought you could, you’ll be rewarded. The race will end, the points will tallied and the results will be made official.
“I press on to reach the end of the race,” Paul wrote, “and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us.” – Phil 3:14.
How well do you finish? Be honest about it. What can you do to gain more motivation to finish what you start?
Live with a Heart of Tenacious Faith.
First, life won’t always be smooth sailing. Second, as long as you stay in the race, you have a chance to win. If you quit you are guaranteed failure. Most of the time when you are near the end of your effort–physically, emotionally, financially, socially and mentally–faith is what makes the difference. It’s been said by so many athletes, survivalists and even the military elite, “It’s all in the mind. If you can conquer the mind?” Faith has the ability to influence our mind. Faith is the belief in something that hasn’t materialized yet, as though it has.
Let faith see what the eye cannot see.
You may have a belief in a business you are starting, a church you are building, a relationship you are developing. You’re not where you want to be, but you can see it. Visualize it. Let it be faith. Your belief in the tomorrow you cannot know, but you definitely see. Let your belief outmatch the material.
Where do you get a daily intake of faith to believe for what is not seen? How can you develop more confidence in the faith you have?
I am here to help.
Finally, I’d love to help you find your heart. One of the best ways for me to help you right now is to get a copy of my book The Revved Life. You can do it right here, or on amazon.
If you want drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment. I’ve got proven strategies that have helped me and others have the heart needed for this life. Until next time.