2 Timothy 2:5
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
The truest freedom is secured by the most implicit obedience. Those who profess themselves free in the sense of being superior to law do but make themselves the slaves of sin. It is in the observance of rule that we find the fullest scope for the development of our individuality and the improvement and elevation of all our natural powers. They soar highest, and act with the greatest vigour, and move with the greatest freedom, who keep themselves most completely subject to the restraints of law. Loyalty elevates. We are ensnared and deteriorated when we follow our own caprice; for the liberty which is lawless is essentially degrading. The worlds describe their brilliant course over the dark brow of night because of the force which binds them to their great centre; let that force be destroyed, and they are free to rush whithersoever the centrifugal force propels. Their movement may be swifter than the lightning, and their track more dazzling than its path, but it will soon end in darkness and destruction. And so it is with the mind and the law of duty which hinds it to God. The freedom which comes from the violation of that law is a freedom which, instead of securing its welfare and elevation, only lands it in deeper degradation and death.
(W. Landels, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
WEB: Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he isn't crowned unless he has competed by the rules.