You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? (Galatians 5:7)
When runners compete in a race, depending on what kind of race it is, they must stay in their own lane. A runner cannot go into a competitor’s lane and cut that runner off. If this happens, he or she will be disqualified.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Galatia, “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?” (5:7). Or, paraphrased, “You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience?” Sometimes in the race of life, people will cut in on us and impair our performance. That means we need to give a lot of thought as to whom we choose to run with.
Paul instructed Timothy to “run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22). As Christians, we should run together, not trip each other in the race. We are not competing against one another.
Our competition is with the world, the flesh, and the Devil—those are our competitors in life’s race. Those are our enemies. So it is not about besting one another; it is about glorifying God and overcoming the Enemy.
Paul also warned against looking back while we are running our race. He said, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13–14). You can’t run a good race if you are constantly looking over your shoulder.
So in the race of life, stay in your own lane and don’t look back.