Rule #5: Ponder the Brevity of Life (8 Rules for Growing in Godliness)

The Bible uses a number of metaphors to describe the Christian life, and among the most prominent is that of runners in a race (e.g., 1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1). The “race” is a vivid image meant to remind us that Christians face competition, need endurance, and require diligence. Life is not a leisurely stroll, but a grueling race. From this metaphor, we also learn that just as each step brings runners closer to the end of their race, each moment brings Christians closer to the end of their life.

Life is fragile and fleeting. We are mortal people living in weak bodies and facing a perilous journey through time. For some, this journey will last only a few years. For others, it will last many decades. But for all, it will some day come to a close. As runners eventually cross the finish line, so Christians eventually close their eyes in death. Until then, their great desire is to grow in conformity to Christ. They do this while racing the clock and maintaining an awareness of their own mortality. They long to grow in conformity to Christ to the greatest degree possible in the short time available to them.

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