Football is cranking up and baseball is winding down (although CUB fans are excited!). As a nation we love sports and many people have their favorite team(s). People can get pretty passionate about athletic competition! That was true even in Biblical times – “anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” 2 Ti 2:5 Paul reminds us that a fair competition is good and fine and that people enjoy seeing athletes try very hard to win.
We also know some people want to win so badly that they bend and break the rules to accomplish the goal. right or wrong we are disheartened when an individual or a team compromises their integrity or the integrity of their team to “win” at any cost. The competition is ruined.
The far bigger issue in our lives is living in such a way as to give glory to God and share the message of salvation in Jesus Christ! We are called to live with a faithful integrity that is true and genuine. And we do it with full speed, perseverance and joy! The writer of the book of Hebrews reminds us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Heb. 12:1
Pastors often enjoy sports analogies and yet we know every analogy breaks down at some point. Yet, the words from the book of Hebrews tells us that our sin can slow us down and trip us up all too easily. When we confess our sins we are in essence throwing off everything that hinders us so that we by God’s grace can live this day to His glory and with passion.