Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isa. 50:7)

OUR CHAMPION ATHLETES DESERVE our respect. They undergo years of rigorous training, self-discipline, and commitment to the goal of performing at the highest level. We cheer their accomplishments and empathize with them when they fall short of their goals. Understandably we are shocked when one of them experiences disgrace.

Middle distance runner Regina Jacobs represented the USA in three consecutive summer Olympics and in world championships. She took the silver medal in the 1500 meters race at the sixth World Championship in Athletics in 1997 and again in 1999. In 2003 she set a world record in the indoor 1500 meters with a time of 3.59.98. She was the first woman to run that distance under four minutes. Unfortunately, in 2003 she tested positive for steroids, and subsequently the United States Anti-Doping Agency suspended her from competing in track and field for four years.

Unfortunately, in more recent times we have seen a flurry of star athletes disgraced because they used performance-enhancing drugs.

Every Christian is running a race. If we practice self-discipline and rely on God’s grace for the strength to endure, we will receive an incorruptible crown. The apostle Paul’s words cheer us on to victory: “Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24).

As you run the race today, depend upon God’s grace and stay focused on Jesus.

Jim Dyet was born in Scotland and grew up in Canada. Married fifty-six years, he and Gloria live in Colorado Springs, where Jim enjoys golf and daily walks with their dogs.