You were running well. Who got in your way and stopped you being persuaded by the truth?
This persuasion didn’t come from the one who called you!
Paul uses a track and field analogy here. Ancient runners did not run around an oval track in lanes as they do today. There was a post set at a distance away, and they ran to that post and back. So if a runner “cut in on you” (NIV), you’d have to slow down, you could trip, or possible even be knocked out of the race.
There are a thousand things/people competing for our attention.
Many detractors seek (unknowingly and knowingly) to take our energized focus off of our telos, our ultimate aim.
It might be good for some of us to define our ultimate aim in life. It’s not the worst idea in the world to craft a statement of intent for your entire existence.
I’ll share mine, which I stole from Dallas Willard, because I couldn’t seem to improve upon it:
To be single-mindedly focused on God, doing His will in everything, distracted by nothing.
I guess it’s another way of saying, “To be one with God”.
That’s my telos, the pole in the ground I’m ever running toward.
What pole are you running toward with your whole life?
Who or what is getting in your way, cutting in, tripping you up?
Who or what is stopping you from being persuaded by the truth?
Remember, these distractions do NOT come from God, and, as we see in verse 9, a little bit of it can cause large problems:
A little yeast works its way through the whole lump.
Paul warns us of “the negative effects of an unchecked spiritual malignancy.”