The Spiritual Vitamin ..Soul Food 4 Thought
“CLAIM TO FAME“ as in my personal claim to fame was becoming an elite professional athlete. It’s nothing more than another way of drawing attention to self or describing what in your life sets you apart from others,; makes you unique or special, I suppose. another manner of tooting your horn!! In the phrase mocked by many as “your five minutes of fame..“ I suggest you enjoy it and let it go at some point because in reality it was only a path or pit stop along your journey. You final claim to fame should be and will be judge by the most high when all is said and done. The bible says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be required“.
I shift my focus
to sports as the regular season in football ends for many in either ”the thrill of victory” or “the agony of defeat”! For some teams the season goes on into the playoffs and some to the all-star games for their excellence play. Then there are those who go home and watch with many suffering season ending setback, injuries and disappointments. Perhaps many will be in one category or the other.
The scriptures Luke and 1Cor. have something to say to growing Christians who are at either end of this success or on the not so successful end of the spectrum. Nevertheless, the scripture should be humbling to those Christian athletes who think they are so great for such success and all their achievements. On the other hand, the same scriptures can bring hope to those who believe they caught the short end of the stick. I will mostly concentrate on these scriptures as an exhortation to Christians who are thinking too much of themselves and their accomplishments. First, we‘ll focus on how these scriptures can encourage the not so fortunate Christian who saw it all fall apart right before their eyes.
In light of the truth contained in 1 Corinthians 4:7 and Luke 12:48, it should be comforting and inspiriting to realize that God does not require anything from us that He has not given us. God is not like the extortionate parent who expects more from kids than what they have been blessed with. Conversely, God is more of a reasonable and understanding parent who expects the children to “do their best with what they have”. God has made us what we are and has autonomously given us or not given us certain abilities and capacities. He knows us completely and does not blame nor hold us accountable for endowments which we wasn’t blessed. “He knows us and remembers that we are nothing more than dust” God’s judgment is simply on the basis of what we have, not what we lack.” Accepting ourselves for what God made us to be, recognizing our limitations, and knowing we are not judged should be tremendous encouragement for any Christian. It should bring hope especially to those who are often discouraged because they never seem to quite measure up intellectually, athletically, or in general. None the less, it does not justify excuses for laziness, quitting, or shirking responsibility. God expects us to develop what he has given us, as well as charge to us more responsibilities upon improving and increasing our capabilities and capacities. Remember, there is no ”little people” in God’s family. Every member is important for the proper functioning of the Body of Christ.
At the other end of the spectrum we have the Christian athlete with the self- inflated ego. This individual is very capable and successful. Awards, honors, and accolades are a way of life for him/her. This person somehow thinks that his/her achievements and accomplishments are entirely because of their own efforts. It doesn’t stop there. Christian athletes in this category tend to look down on, minimize, or diminish others who are not as talented and gifted as themselves. Well, the scriptures definitely have something to address this individual, even more so than one expects. Have you ever made a comment about someone who is a bit slow at conversing or one who is very awkward in sports related activity?
So I ask? “What do you have that you did not receive as a blessing from God?” It can be applied in so many ways because everything we have came as a result of God’s blessings. If it’s good looks, from God!! If it’s athletic talent, from God!! If it’s academic prowess, from God!!! Natural charisma, ability to preach, spiritual gifts of teaching, whatever it may be; when we really think about it everything we have as individuals was given to us by God. The talent, the career in sports, even the honors and awards came by way of your talents and ability thru God. Therefore, all the glory goes to the Lord. So, the fact is if you received it from God, why boast as if you created all this greatness yourself?” Realistically speaking, you don’t come close to those super powers. How ridiculous to boast about your greatness when it was given to you. God could have just as easily given the talents and brains to someone else since he is the one who “makes us all unique and different from anyone else”. How puerile for anyone, athletes included, to ego trip about their feats and victories. Their strength, coordination, skills, and even their ability to train have all been given to them. How wrong it is for any Christians who have been blessed with more to denigrate those with less, in whatever area of life. The Lord could certainly have programmed it differently.
Luke and 1Corinthians both declares, while we are not to become boastful for what we have received, we are to be responsible for what we have received. The more we have been given, the more we are expected to use for the glory of God. We are not at fault if we do not use what we do not have, but we are at fault if we fail to use what we do have. It goes without saying that we are responsible to develop and use the spiritual gifts that the Lord has given us. It is wrong to spend most of our time and energy making more money and trying to “get the most out of life” while letting the use of our spiritual gifts become decadence. You will give an account directly to the Lord concerning the misuse of the spiritual gifts he entrusted you. A Christian with great physical appearance or athletic prowess has outstanding opportunities to attract people to the Lord. The late great Reggie White was a living paradigm of this; also an unadulterated man of God !! Reggie believed whole heartedly his purpose and mission was to simply profess and proclaim the word thru athletics and bring souls to the Lord!!!! R.I.P.
The Bible teaches us that responsible use of what we have received is not an option as far as God is concerned. It’s a required responsibility. We are not to lose or abuse whatever God gives us, but use it for his glory. Faithful use of the gifts and talents which we have received will someday result in praise from the lips of our Lord. Our ”claim to fame” will never be on the basis of what God has given us, but rather on the basis of how we use what he has entrusted us with.
Soul food sides: [1 Corinthians 4:7] ; [Luke 12:48]; [1corinth 4:5,7 1;3]; [ Matthew 25:14-30]; [2corinth 2:8-12]; [Psalms 103;14]
Are you willing to change?
Your life right now is the result of the things you have done up until this point in time. If you want your life to be different, you will need to make changes.
Wishing for a better life won‘t make it so. In order for “things“ to change, you must be willing to change. That means getting out of your comfort zone. It means facing your fears. It means you may need to change your career, your friends, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, where you live, your daily schedule.
You are remarkably adaptable. If you‘ve made it this far, you have already gone through many major changes in all aspects of your life. From being an infant to a toddler to a child to a teen to an adult, the first few years of your life were filled with constant change. You are certainly up to the task.
Almost always, the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, is worse than the change itself. Once you understand this, then you realize that it is easier to change than to resist change.
There are things you need to do, changes you need to make. Go ahead with them. Don‘t waste your energy fearing them or resisting them. Dive right in and do what needs to be done. Change is a constant part of life. When you fear it, it will happen anyway, out of your control. When you embrace change, it will enable you to reach your goals.
~ R. Marston
“Its good to be a Christian and know it, but it even better to be a Christian and show it”
“Success comes in cans, failures comes in can’ts.”
“Falling down doesn’t make you a failure, staying down does.”
“Many of men have failed because he had his wishbone where his backbone should have been.”
Exhortation = a communication intended to urge or persuade one to take action;
Extortionate/Usurious= greatly exceeding bounds of reasons or moderation;
Farcical= Broadly or extravagantly humorous; ludicrous or ridiculous;