Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pursuing a Gold Medal

Romans 9:30
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
My little athletes after a gym class. I don't
think their motivated yet to pursue a gold
medal in any sport, particularly not the roller
skating they just finished experimenting with.
It's so easy to judge other people without understanding them. I confess to having judged in the past the Olympians who received silver or bronze and were not satisfied with their prize. Even though they had not won the gold medal they had hoped for, shouldn't they be happy they won 2nd or 3rd place? They still ran faster or jumped higher than I could ever dream of for myself, and they still beat all the other contestants, so shouldn't they be content with their lot? I misunderstood the intense desire for excellence in their particular sport that athletes need in order to reach the Olympics to begin with. They had to really want a gold medal in order to be there in the first place, and they had just seen their dream crumble into a 2nd best or 3rd best.
The Jews Paul is speaking to had an intense desire for righteousness and saw it being given to someone else and not to them. It was being given to those who hadn't even sought righteousness and withheld from those who pursued nothing else. If they felt cheated, perhaps it wasn't because the Gentiles were being included but because they were being included without the work the Jews had put into it while those who sought righteousness with every moment of every day were excluded from it. Was their desire wrong? I don't think it was at all, they simply were pursuing it from completely the wrong angle. They needed to pursue righteousness out of faith rather than expecting it to work without believing, loving, and trusting the One Who makes us righteous. Hopefully many of them understood what Paul was saying and changed their pursuit so they could also win the gold medal of righteousness they were after.

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