Heroes, idols, favorites, whatever you would like to call them? Many have at least a person or two that they almost idolize. It may be an actor or actress, sports player, Nascar driver, pastor of a large church, bull rider , huge blogger, and the list could go on and on. Most of the time the popularity is based upon performance.
I have always been a fairly competitive person. In whatever I have done, or do, I always put in my best effort. My biggest competition is typically against myself.
Easter Day all of the family was here at the farm after church for good food, fellowship, and fun. Two of my teenage grandsons are in track at the local middle school. My youngest son (who isn’t that young anymore) was talking to them about running. He works out and is in good physical shape and he felt the urge to challenge them to a foot race.
The boundary was set and and I counted them down and away they went! First to the finish line was the smallest, and youngest of the two grandsons, followed closely by my son. I felt like it was a good showing for him.
When they came to the patio I told them I thought I could beat all of them. They looked at each other, smiled and said they were all up for the challenge. I’m sure they were thinking “now I can get the ole man”. They don’t know it, but I really didn’t think I could beat them at all. An additional 50 years is not always an advantage.
They all prepared for the race; some changing from pants to shorts and different shoes. They stretched and paced waiting to take me on. I went into my closet to take off my boots and put on tennis shoes. I was really prepared!
We walked to the starting point, lined up, counted down, and off we went! Needless to say, I gave it all I had but was smoked by the young bunch. The order was the same as the previous race, with me in dead last place. My breathing wasn’t labored, but I’m just not as fast as I used to be. They did beat their Poppie.
I was thinking about this in light of our faith and the makeup of Christ’s church. Fortunately, there Should Not be competition within it. But unfortunately, there is. When Christ saved us, we were all in the same wretched lost condition. We had no hope, no merit, no works good enough for us to perform in order to attain salvation. Only Christ and His work could ever make us righteous in God’s sight. It is a gift freely given to all that believe in Him.
Our individual place in the church has also been gifted to us. Each member of Christ’s church has been likened to a member of our own physical bodies (I Cor. 12, Eph. 4:11-16). One member is a hand, another a foot, another an eye, etc, until the whole body is complete. Christ is The Head, much to the surprise of many church leaders. There is not a “whole” human body that lacks any members; likewise, the church does not function properly if we are not exercising the spiritual gift that Christ has given each us. We all have our own particular place within it, whether we know it or not.
There is to be no competition with the other members as to the importance of our gift(s). Each is as important as the other. We are to do it all for the glory of God and the building up of Christ’s church!!!
I love Ephesians 4:16: “from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love”. The objective of it all is that we may be built up “in love”. What a gracious loving Father we have!
A little food for thought on this gorgeous day.
Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,