Know ye not that they which run in a race run all , but one receiveth the prize? So run , that ye may obtain . And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things … 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Consider for a moment, a championship caliber athlete registered to run on lane three at the Olympics. This athlete, we will call Mike, is the top seed and has expended much energy and time in training. As the race begins, Mike, not conscious of his lane and not temperate enough to stay in it, powers on to the end, winning with 43.89 seconds on the clock – only to be disqualified. Mike had crossed into his opponents lane several times during the race. The second placed athlete with a 45.21 seconds finish, took home the gold medal – because he was temperate enough to stay in his lane.
This short story shows us that speed without temperance is worthless. That talent without discipline is tragic, and that knowledge without wisdom is utterly dangerous. The temperate man who runs his race faithfully will always come out ahead. As is written:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection : lest that by any means , when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. – 1 Corinthians 9:27