As I studied Philippians 1:27, I couldn’t help but think of this amazing team, because in this verse, Paul talks about teamwork. He begins by saying Christians should conduct themselves in a manner worthy of Christ. The original language used indicates that we should behave in such a way that makes others want to have a relationship with Christ. He then goes on to give specific examples of how believers in Christ should behave. Paul says we are ”to stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” The thing which fascinates me about this passage is that the Greek word for striving comes from the word athleo. For those who think this word looks familiar, it’s because this is where we get the word for athlete. ”Striving together” indicates working together as a team so that we can win the contest.
Unfortunately, more people act like the Brazilian volleyball team than they do the American team. Failed relationships are often a byproduct of a chronic illness, but this doesn’t have to be the case. We should never allow a disease to steal our relationships with our loved ones. A disease may steal our health, but it only takes away our family and friends when we allow it to. But we make the decision each day by choosing what our attitude will be and how we will respond to the suffering we will inevitably face throughout the course of the day.
So it’s time for an attitude check. Examine your relationships. Are you striving together or striving against one another? I don’t know about you, but I won’t be satisfied with anything other than a gold medal in my relationships. How about you?
“You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me. I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (The Message)
(c) August 9, 2012