I’m sure you have read or heard Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. The story concerns a hare that ridicules a slow-moving tortoise and is challenged by him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
While this is only a fable, it definitely teaches a lesson or two about life and racing. One of the lessons it teaches is that there are things that will slow you down or hinder you in a running race, and in life. If you want to win a running race, or the race of life, you had better eliminate those things.
I’m not a runner. I never have been and I never will be. If you are a runner, you probably know that when you are running you should not wear something too baggy that will create drag and therefore slow you down. Wear something lightweight.
Wearing compression clothing helps because it creates a low amount of drag and gets more oxygen to your muscles. Spikes also improve your speed, but if you don’t have them, you can run barefoot or in lightweight racers or runners. Wearing heavy wristbands, necklaces etc. will also slow you down, so take them off.
Hebrews 12:1-3 likens our spiritual life to a race and makes it clear that we can be hindered in that race too.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
The thing that seemed to hinder the hare in his race against the tortoise was his pride. In his pride, he ridiculed the slow moving tortoise. In his pride, he calculated that he had time for a nap and still be able to win the race. Pride was a hindrance to the hare. Had he not been proud, he would not have ridiculed the tortoise and there would have been no race.
Pride is a huge hindrance for a Christian who is running the race of life. It was a snare for Satan Isaiah 14:12-17.
Here are a few verses that illustrate how pride will hinder you faith and the spiritual race you are running.
Psalm 10:4. It will turn you away from God.
Proverbs 13:10. It will cause quarrels in your life.
Proverbs 16:8 It will trip you up and cause you to fall.
Deuteronomy 8:14. It will cause you to forget God.
So how do you throw of the sin of pride so you can run your spiritual race unhindered?
Try to be a “me third” kind of person. In your thoughts and in your life in general, try to put God first, others second and yourself third.
In your life, try to have the same attitude as Jesus did. Speaking of Jesus, Philippians 2:6-8 says, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Jesus is and always has been God. Yet He humbled himself and became like one of his created beings – a helpless baby who was born in a stable. Talk about humble!
You are not going to be able to deal with pride in your life on your own. You need God’s help. I know I do! I hope you start out each day getting into God’s Word and praying to Him. Ask for His strength and for His help in putting others ahead of yourself.
I’m rooting for you as you run the race God has for you!