Who’s Winning?

I’ve seen a lot of strange things while officiating sporting events. Last winter I watched a high school basketball player get turned around and put the ball into their own basket. Shooting at the wrong goal would have mortified me. I am about as competitive as they come, I hate losing. Some people live life with a competitive edge, playing like it’s a competition of wealth and power. Their goal is to see how much earthly treasure they can accumulate, or how much power and control they can grasp. Life is a competition, but we need to know what goal we are shooting toward. Paul wrote, ”Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” 1 Corinthians 9:24–25 (NLT). In today’s politically correct culture, people think everyone should get the same trophy. As a result, our kids are losing their sense of discipline and the desire to compete. If we all get the same trophy, then why practice? Why should we grow in our discipline? Do you think we will all get the same trophies in heaven? If we do, then what is motivating us to a life of sacrifice on the earth? Don’t get me wrong, heaven itself is quite a reward. However, Jesus taught many parables about rewarding people based on their efforts to build God’s kingdom while living in this body. If heaven alone is our eternal reward, then what is motivating us to live for Jesus in this life? Far too many believers are satisfied with just being in the race. Paul encouraged us to run the race of life to win and get an eternal prize. Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven. The goal we should be shooting at is pretty clear in scripture. Preach the gospel, help the poor, set the captive free. Be disciplined in the Word, prayer, and fellowship and you will win.