Keep Running Harder
Words by Paige Meyers
Have you heard the phrase “don’t stop standing” before? I have. It’s thrown around a ton within churches and among believers.
But you know what I say to that? Forget “don’t stop standing.” Let’s change it to don’t stop running. Hard.
I used to race cross country for my high school team. When you stopped running during the course, no matter the distance—whether 2, 5, or 10 miles—it always was harder to start back up again. You’d always be tempted to stop running again once you took that initial break. There’s some science behind it: your heart begins to slow down and it is harder to return to its original running pace.
This is what happens when you slow down in the Christian race. “One day without reading my Bible won’t hurt,” you tell yourself. “I can have lots of non-Christian friends, and I’ll still be totally okay.” One of my favorite quotes, author unknown, is, “Spiritual death happens one compromise at a time.” Sin doesn’t just magically appear in your life and go, “Ha! I’m here!”
It creeps in. It hides. It slithers its way into your very soul. You don’t even notice until it’s too late.
It’s harder to return to full speed in the Christian race when you’ve given your heart a break. Your fleshy heart is rebellious; it does what it wants―and it does not want to run full speed towards Jesus. That is why it takes diligence, discipline, and determination. We can begin practicing this in our quiet times by setting a consistent period when we will go to God in prayer and through His Word. But we must not stop there.
A great cross country runner is not satisfied with completing a course―almost everyone who signs up for the race does. They want to be the best, have the fastest time, and improve for the next one. We, as Christians, need to adopt this mindset. We need to think about how we can train better, run faster, develop endurance—all while glorifying God throughout.
The finish line is not just about getting to heaven; it’s also about arriving with rewards that you earned due to how you ran your race (1 Cor. 3:8).
Do not be complacent about your race. Proverbs 1:32 states that “the complacency of fools destroys them.” And it’s true. If you are not growing in your race, if you are not making it a goal to allow God to sanctify you, then you are in serious need of a heart check. Ask yourself why you are in the race. Ask yourself who you are running for. Ask yourself what you are doing to prep for the race. Ask yourself what you can do better.
God is so gracious to equip us with everything we need to run (Phil. 4:19). We need to partner with others who are committed to put in the work to train hard (Ecc. 4:9). And if you don’t know where to start, the answer is simple: pray. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7).
So, my fellow brothers and sisters, do not offer weak encouragement like “don’t stop standing.” Encourage one another to keep running harder.