Daily Truth: “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
The Winter Olympics have been enjoyable to watch and when the athletes receive their awards it is a memorable moment. In the first Olympics crowns of olive leaves were given as the awards. To receive an award for your efforts sets one apart from the others. Why do we enjoy hearing the medal count for each country at the end of each broadcast? There is a competitive aspect and achievement recognition that interests us. It is good to see those who have worked hard be recognized for their efforts.
These elite athletes have overcome many obstacles in order to compete in this year’s Winter Olympics. Some of the athletes have fought through injuries that most of us would still be recuperating from and in some sort of physical therapy. Other athletes have overcome great grief of the death of loved ones. A bobsled was broken and there was a team working through the night to repair it so the athletes could compete the next day. What about Nick Goepper who learned to snowboard in the hills of southern Indiana? He and his parents found a way in which he could perfect his skills to the point of becoming an Olympian and medalist.
What characteristics do these elite athletes have in common? Can we apply these characteristics to Christian parenting?
- The Olympians fight through setbacks and injuries while becoming the elite athlete they each are today. Do we focus on the situations in our life or do we focus on the prize? (Eternity with Jesus Christ and laying crowns at His feet.) Prayer is important for the Christian. Keep a family journal of prayer requests and answered prayer so children can see God. Come back to those answered prayers in time of difficulty and remind children that God helped in the past and will help in the future.
- The Olympic athletes must eat well in order to fuel their bodies to perform at this elite level. As Christians we must feed on the things of God. Spending time with God in prayer and reading His Word are imperative if we want to finish this life well. In order to teach our children to love the Lord we must spend time with God first and then share that love with our family. Pray with your children before school. Have Bible fact night at the dinner table once a week. Pray for a missionary before dinner. If your hear an ambulance pray for all concerned. Be creative and see how many ways you can point your children toward God in a day.
- Practice is imperative in order to become an Olympic athlete. Have a time of Bible teaching with your children. Memorize Scripture as a family. Use teachable moments in nature to teach the things of God. Practice is repetition and adding creativity to the repetition is key. Make learning the things of God repetitive, fun, and creative.
- Encouragement from mothers has been a theme of many advertisements during the broadcast of the Olympics. As mothers we have a great responsibility to encourage our children in the things of God. Just think of Hannah in the Old Testament and her son Samuel. She brought him a coat each year he was growing up with Eli as an act of love and support.
- The medal winners are very thankful for the people who have helped them on the arduous journey toward perfection of their specific sport. As Christians do we provide encouragement to others? Do we praise God for His Word that imparts so much and are we thankful for the Holy Spirit that wants to guide us in all things? Let children see your praise and thankfulness of God and others. Help your children think of “random acts of kindness” to bless others.
We may never earn an Olympic medal but we all have the ability through Christ to earn a crown that we will want to lay at the feet of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown but we for an imperishable crown.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” 1 Thessalonians 2:19
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12
“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away”. 1 Peter 5:4
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8
As this year’s Olympics come to a close and the medal count is posted consider the importance we are placing on the rewards God gives to us. Are we teaching our children about God’s rewards? Our we teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind? Let’s run this race well and teach to our children what counts for eternity.
Until the next “Truth” sharing moment,
Cathy Jo Johnson