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On Top of The Box

On Top of The Box
The Cost of Integrity

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. 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NKJV)

I was watching a motorcycle race recently and on the second to the last lap one of the riders had caught the leader and made a clean pass to take over.  The previous leader would have nothing to do with this pass and he made an aggressive pass of his own to retake the lead—he went on to win the event and stand on top of the box (podium).  

When second place was interviewed, he made a statement causing me to stop and think.  He said, "Well, I guess that nice guys finish second."   What was he saying by this statement?  Was he saying nice guys don't win, or was he simply saying in order to win you can't be nice?  

Again, it made me think about the nature of competition—Is winning at all costs so important in our culture?   Will we compromise on our ethical values or become so aggressive we would be willing to do things normally considered rude, abrasive or even illegal just in an attempt to be called number one?

I would like to clarify something—competition is good, and for many reasons, because much is learned through competing.  We learn about sportsmanship, and about teamwork—we can learn where our physical and mental limits are at, and how to push through those limits or many other obstacles keeping us from achieving our goals.  But with all these potential positive things to learn we will also be tempted to compromise on what we know to be right.  This compromise will come at the cost of our integrity.  

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 9:25 (NKJV)

We must understand we are to be competing for a prize far greater than any perishable crown we could possibly receive on earth for winning.  Our podium awaits us in heaven and we will one day stand on top of the box.  Nice guys will finish first!

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let's make it our hearts desire to compete in a way bringing glory and honor to God.  Let's compete for our eternal winners wreath and allow God to guide our actions on how we compete here on earth.

STUDY QUESTION: According to the scriptures contained within this devotional what can we learn with regards to our competing?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to compete in such a way as to bring glory and honor unto the Lord?

APPLICATION: Let's think about every area in our lives where competition is tempting us to compromise and let's choose to lay these areas down before the Lord.

Let's Pray…

Father, thank You for Your Word to guide us and direct our steps.  Help us to see every area in our life where we are compromising in an attempt to try and win something.  In Jesus' precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000