Good morning – and a cold and frosty morning it is too here in Cornwall.
New years day seems an age away to me now as we gallop into February and already colleagues with more expensive suites than mine are looking at where we are against targets and expectations.
Paul says to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 v 5 “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules”
The apostle takes this picture from athletics. He advises Timothy that, if he is striving to win in his ministry, he will not be crowned unless he disciplines himself to follow the rules.
In games (whether it is a card game, a game out in the garden, football, or whatever), one is often confronted with the opportunity to bend or to break the rules. The player must discipline himself, or face the penalties – or even find himself disqualified. If one breaks the rules in football, he gives away a free kick or penalty and can even be sent off. The athlete or sports person, then, must discipline himself.
Yet, Paul is using this in regard to members of God’s church. If we desire to be crowned, we will have to strive within the rules. We will have to discipline ourselves. In Timothy’s case, the rules are scattered throughout Paul’s epistle to him.
For the Christian, spending time with God and reading the Bible is what helps us understand what I call “God’s way” of doing things, for we live under Grace now.
At work the lesson is for us too. It is all too easy to see short cuts that are not quite within the rules and take them to gain an advantage.
Gods way is not to cheat or be a rule breaker but to be diligent, fair and hard working doing everything as if we are doing it for Him.
Have a good week and stay warm!