Dear Tabernacle Family,
Does it matter how we win?
My deep love and respect for the game of baseball is no secret. There are individual players and teams that I tend to follow, but my interest is for the game and how it’s played. To a casual observer, the game may be less than exciting, but to its followers, it is full of strategy and individual contests. There are rules and traditions that guide how the game is to be played.
You are probably aware that a scandal is casting a shadow over the validity of a certain team’s accomplishments, which spreads to the integrity of the game. The performance of those to whom the game has been given to steward is in question.
There is a desire in each of us to succeed in the endeavors that we are engaged in. With that comes a desire to have an “edge” that gives an advantage in the matter. Does it matter how that edge is obtained? Does it matter how a person or team wins?
Paul likens his life to running a race where the contestant competes for a perishable crown. He was so focused on the goal that he would not consider allowing anything to hinder that pursuit. The writer of Hebrews speaks of running a race before a great cloud of witnesses and encourages the runner to lay aside every weight and sin that would easily ensnare us.
Psalm 24:3-6 asks an important question and answers it as well. “Who may ascend unto the hill of the Lord, or who may stand in His holy place?”
Scripture contains numerous accounts of those who ran the race of life, the challenges and sacrifices that they made. They realized that the race can be long, you become weary, and even seem hopeless. If you quit, you certainly can’t win. If you find a way to “beat the system” victory is hollow, and if discovered, can be removed.
The Psalmist in Psalm 73 had doubts that almost overwhelmed him as he compared himself to worldly men and their prosperity. He admits that he had entertained the temptation to yield to their methods and practices. They were proud, arrogant, seemingly untouched by adversity.
He describes his pain as he thought about it, “until he went into the sanctuary of God.” With that perspective he saw their end, and his view changed to “it was good for me to draw near to God.”
If you are wrestling with this type of issues in your life, please don’t allow yourself to grow faint in your well-doing. Each of us will be measured by how we live our lives with what God has given us. There is a trap in comparative living. It will leave our lives open to envy and lust for things that will not satisfy because they are obtained out of questionable motivation.
Live your life in a manner that will produce victories that will bring true satisfaction.
Pastor Allen Baun