Thursday, August 26, 2004


They wanted him to give up his prize! After Hamm won the all-around competition in men’s gymnastics, a scoring error was found that would have given a South Korean gymnast the points needed for the gold. One editor I read implied that Hamm would be a goat if he didn’t offer to give up the gold medal.
All that fuss is about a “prize that won’t last.” We train for a “prize that will last forever.” Would you give that prize up? Paul thought he could give it up, in a sense. He knew how important self-control was in his training to get the prize. If he treated his training like it had no purpose, or if he lost control of himself, he knew he could become disqualified for the prize.
In another context, Paul spoke of his love for his countrymen. He knew that many of them were lost in their unbelief. He wrote regarding his love for them that he could wish that he was cut off from Christ for their sakes. For those Gentiles who thought that Paul had abandoned the Jews to preach to Gentiles, his words of sustained love had to be convincing.
The truth is, you can give up your award. You can disqualify yourself from your eternal prize by neglecting your training and turning from your decision to control yourself in holy ways. Don’t do that! Another truth is that you can’t give up your prize so that another can have it. Paul knew that forfeiture was not the way to bring his loved ones to faith. He understood that his own faith was one of his greatest tools in his efforts to bring them to Christ. Those things are true for you, too. Keep your prize! That’s Life at Work!

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