A lot of people are earning the right to brag these days. I am addicted to watching the Olympics. Every sport represents people who have sacrificed, worked, suffered, and determined to win the gold. I tear up every time I hear a national anthem played and understand that the person for whom it’s played is standing there at great cost, and with great pride, representing their country, their hopes and dreams.
I thought about them, and the apostle Paul as I read these chapters in Jeremiah today.
Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord. (9:23-24)
Paul, who had the pedigree everyone admired, said he counted it a loss for the sake of Christ. Philippians 3:8 says, “More than that I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
I wonder if that is true of me today? I certainly don’t have an Olympic gold medal on my shelf. I’ve never worked hard enough at a sport to get close. But I have a home, a family, an income, health, friends. Can I honestly say I count it all rubbish when compared to knowing Jesus?
How does that translate into my every day? Do I put spending time in God’s Word at the top of my priority list? Do I pray? Do I put God’s wishes above my own, or above that of my loved ones? Am I more concerned about what God thinks about me, about my obedience and reverence, than about what my family, friends, and community think of me? Do I try to be politically correct, or Biblically correct?
Do I work at knowing Christ a fraction of how an Olympic athlete works at their sport? Time for a little soul searching.