I have had my share of racing motorcycles beginning in my teenage years, through my 20’s and 30’s. And later in my 50’s without much winning success as the reflexes lagged, and the old body just wasn’t built up to withstand the abuse moving along at full throttle. Winning was sweet when it happened. Mentally though I was always focused and determined to do whatever it took to win the race even if I didn’t. After all, what is racing? It’s about winning.
This reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a fellow Christian about paying a bit too much attention to matters of the world. How it can get in the way of our race to win the “imperishable prize” (1 Cor 9:24-25). If we set our sights on worldly (perishable) matters, they can get a hold of us and distract us from what the Lord wishes our sights to be fixed upon. Even Christians being human are easily swayed. I can tell you this is true from personal experience!
The bible teaches us that we are to “Set our mind on things above, not on things on earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col 3:2-4)
One of the words in this passage is a clue to a Christians response one way or another to worldly matters thrust before him. Will he address it, make it important, or turn away from it in the Lord? That word is “died”. We are constantly reminded by Jesus of having to give up our worldly ways, carry our cross by being long suffering servants of the Lord. And by the apostles in establishing the early church through all the near-death trials and challenges they experienced by faith, apostle Paul even said, “To live is Christ, To die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)
Is paying too much attention to the Coronavirus and all its details, or religious freedoms and the Nations government all that important to the Christian? Or giving it all you got in making sure ones second amendment rights aren’t infringed upon, freedom of speech guaranteed and on and on? Some of these things are precious to us in the United States. But how does being militant in these worldly matters adding to ones walk in Christ to win the prize? Is walking in the Lord in this manner dying to yourself? Is it long suffering that glorifies Jesus by the Holy Spirit? Is it Gods will for you to concentrate much time and resources to try and make a worldly difference? Might I suggest focusing too much on worldly matters can pull one away from winning the prize. Some say, “I have freedom in Christ to focus on these matters, I’m not in danger of losing my salvation.” That’s what the frog said in a warm frying pan. That’s what the hare said to the tortuous. And that’s what God says about not focusing on things from above! God gives us choices.
In motorsports or any other type of racing there is a saying when you finish in second place. It’s called the “first loser.” Let’s not walk in a way that causes us to win at the expense of our salvation. Even the inspired apostle Paul who knew all truth said he could become disqualified (1 Cor 9:27). Let’s walk in a way that glorifies and props Jesus up by the way we serve and suffer for His sake in all that we do as His disciples, lest we become the first loser…