Faith Lessons I’ve Learned from Running

I’ve been running for the past five years or so, and while I wouldn’t consider myself a professional by any means, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the past few years—like how to stabilize my breathing and how to run at a steady pace. Similarly, in the Christian life, we have many lessons to learn. I like to think that a lot of the lessons I’ve learned in running apply to the Christian life as well.

Running with Endurance

One of the first lessons you learn when you start running is that you need to have endurance. Whether you’re running two or twenty miles, you need to train so that you can run at a steady pace and not get worn out quickly.

The Christian life requires endurance as well. Life can seem long as Christians, especially in the midst of challenges. Many people have made the comparison that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and the same goes for the Christian life. As the writer to the Hebrews says, “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (Hebrews 10:36).

May we all run the race of life with endurance and receive the good gift of eternal salvation!

Laying Aside What Weighs You Down

If you’re running, especially long distances, you want to lay aside everything that could weigh you down so that you only have the essentials. Minimal gear, lightweight shoes, no unnecessary fuel—athletes find the perfect balance between bringing what is necessary and those things that would just weigh them down.

In the Christian life, we are called to lay aside what weighs us down—namely, sin and idols in our lives. Hanging on to these idols can cause our faith to falter and us to stumble. Letting go of idols in our lives frees us to live a life that is dedicated to Christ. As the writer to the Hebrews says:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)

Facing Trials and Challenges

As a runner, you’ll come across trials and challenges. Whether that’s a heatwave, rainstorm, injury, or closed route, runners face challenges that impact their race. You can never predict these trials and, instead, just have to take them as they come.

In the same way, the Christian life is faced with unexpected challenges. From the death of a loved one to a cancer diagnosis, from a lost job to a broken family, life is difficult. But thanks be to God that we are continually being made perfect through the grace of God! As James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4).

Scripture: ESV®.

Walk together with others as you learn how to find endurance and become a lifelong disciple.

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Written by

Hannah Hansen

Hannah is a freelance writer and brand designer. She currently lives in Oceanside, California, where her husband serves as a pastor. When she’s not running along the coast, you’ll likely find her cooking new vegan recipes or browsing her local thrift store.

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