Sports aficionados have patiently waited for the 2020 Summer Olympics since the last events of 2016. The games had been slated for July 24 to August 9, 2020, but were rescheduled for 23 July to 8 August 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such large sporting events have a way of mesmerising all of us; modest and fanatical, enchanted and enlightened. We tend to align ourselves with teams, sportsmen and sportswomen we consider to have high chances of lifting the trophy. On the other hand, we may support a team or an individual purely on nationalism reasons. It all boils down to human behaviour.
The world’s premier sports scuffle culminates in medals being awarded to the teams, individual players and coaches who show exemplary performance. It is a time when wizardry is displayed as fans are left either in melodrama or melancholy. The medals given are either gold, awarded to the winner; silver, awarded to the runner-up; or bronze, awarded to the third place.
No player can win any of the prizes unless they are disciplined. No team can win any of the prizes and trophy unless it is a disciplined team.
A contrast is made when comparing competitive sports to the Christian life. We are not in competition. We are not entertaining anyone. We are not playing a game; we are in a serious business. We are not here to gratify any human being except the Master, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We are not working in the kingdom so that we can receive rewards but because we are led by the Holy Spirit to perform that which edifies His Church and glorifies His name.
However, God shall surely reward us when we appear before Him at the end of the age. Those who have received much from Him are expected to produce much. The gifts and talents given to the individuals and the church are not for show or entertainment but His glory. They must be put to use.
Once God has granted us the gift of Salvation, once we have truly accepted Jesus as our Saviour, the matter of our Salvation is no longer in question. But the reward is another issue entirely. While our Salvation cannot be lost (because it is not earned), our reward can be forfeited.
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23.
Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7 (KJV).
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (KJV).