You’re ready. You’ve been through all the coaching; read all the articles. You have everything you need to win. However, one thing you might not have been taught is what you’re trying to win. The answer seems obvious: “I’m ready to win rounds, medals, and tournaments!” NOT…
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul writes this, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (NKJV)
There’s many things we can learn from this passage, but I want to highlight two points of focus: the audience and the application.
Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth. He mentions running in a race which is an analogy that they would have understood immediately. Corinth is a city in Greece which is about a 2-day walk to Olympia. This means that the people of Corinth would have been familiar with the Olympic Games. The themes of striving towards a prize and being disciplined in nature were ones they saw lived out.
The application of this passage is two-fold. There is an application meant for the original audience, however there is an application for the modern audience – US!
The early church faced heavy persecution. Especially in Corinth, a city of gentiles, Christianity was targeted. Paul was writing to the christians in Corinth through an analogy so they could more fully understand the end goal of their struggle. At the end of verse 25, Paul says, “Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” (NKJV)
This is where the application for the modern audience comes in. The modern world says that winning means we have a collection of trophies, medals, or possibly certificates, but we know that we run towards a much greater prize than these medals could ever be. Our ultimate goal in forensics should be to learn how to communicate in a way that glorifies God. That needs to be at the forefront of our minds as we go through this season. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose a round, medal, or tournament. If God is glorified through what we’re doing here, then that should be the only reward we need.
- What Bible verse are you going to stand firm on? Stick it on a post it note, put it in your binder, suit coat pocket, or pass it on. Remember the TRUE prize!
Did you know Lasting Impact! has their own book of Devotions? Encouragement and Applications to help guide you through the lessons experienced competitors, parents, and club coaches have gone through during Speech and Debate. Check it out! Go to the SHOP under Resources and check it out!
Chloe Peters is a Lasting Impact! Team Member, she has spent many years in Speech and Debate and is excited to share her vast knowledge and experiences with our Lasting Impact! Community.