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The Marathon Approach to Life

by KATY BRINK WISDOM Identity in Christ Spiritual wellness Dependence Abide
The Marathon Approach to Life
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:14-15

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

I have heard this description applied many times to the process of learning a foreign language. Wouldn’t it be great if a “sprint” of a few grammar lessons and pronunciation classes were enough to yield proficiency? But if you have learned a language, you know that the process simply takes much more time and stamina–more like a marathon. You work continually, returning regularly to the basic building blocks of the language, not becoming complacent but constantly maintaining the “learner” posture.

These verses in 2 Timothy describe a similar mindset. The Apostle Paul writes of “continuing” in what we have learned and believed, going back time and again to the truths of the Scriptures. It’s not enough to breeze through the Bible once and assume that we’ve reaped the entire harvest contained in it. No, we must return over and over to the treasure trove of God’s Word and seek to learn more about God and ourselves, to strengthen our faith, and to deepen our relationship with our Father.

But what else does Paul say that the Scriptures have power to do? He writes that they have the power to make us “wise for salvation.” God’s Word illumines our dark hearts, making us wise for salvation, not just one time when we initially confessed Christ, but repeatedly in our daily lives as we feel our need for Him. True wisdom must be always connected to a realization of our dependence on Jesus, our inability not only to bring ourselves salvation but also to live faithfully in this world in our own strength. Earthly wisdom proclaims to us that “we are enough” or that “we have what we need inside ourselves,” but wisdom from God always points to Christ.

May we continue to return to God’s Word, the fountain of wisdom, as we run the (marathon) race that is the Christian life. 

Closing Prayer
Father, I want to be wise in my daily life. I admit that it’s easy to listen to the “wisdom” that the world shouts, but help me to pursue your wisdom found in the Scriptures. Thank you for the gift of your Word. Amen.
Article: The Wisdom of God by Daniel J. Ebert IV This short essay offers a more in-depth look at Biblical wisdom and how it finds its fulfillment in Christ.
Book: The Way of Wisdom by Tim Keller This collection of daily devotionals offers a great way to examine how to apply Biblical wisdom in all aspects of life, and it’s a good resource for family discussions (with older kids).
Question for Reflection

In what ways are you tempted to listen to the world’s wisdom?

Katy Brink
September 10, 2021

I listen to world’s wisdom when I find my identity or judge my worth in what I’m able to accomplish or in how I measure up to other women. It’s also easy to slip into belief of the lie that somehow I “deserve” certain things–like an uninterrupted nap or joyful attitudes from my children. I need to continue in God’s Word so that I’m reminded the truth about Him, about myself, and about my salvation.