…”run with perseverance the race marked out for us”
In a marathon it is not up to each runner to plot his own course. That has been carefully done by those in charge of the race. In the same way, the Lord has marked out a course for each of our lives. Our duty is not to create the course but to find the markers He has laid out and follow the course “marked out for us”.
He has given “coaches” to help us find these markers – authorities in our lives such as parents, teachers, the law (doing that which is legal) and, of primary importance, His Word and the inner voice of the Holy Spirit. These coaches are faithful guides if we will listen and not let our own desires drown out their counsel.
The course chosen for me is not the same course chosen for others so I cannot look at how other Christians are running their race to determine my course, my pace or criticize their course or pace. Others may take routes that seem like “shortcuts” to me and I will be tempted to let that be my standard. But I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, the one who knows the course set for me, the author and finisher of my faith – the One who laid out my course and will guide me all the way through it.
The course laid out for others may take them places my course does not allow me to go and vice versa. I will only give account for how I run my race. Unless, of course, I start judging the way others are running theirs and then I will also give account for my judgments.
1 Corinthians 8:9, 12
But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. … And when you sin against other believers by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ.