Our culture loves sports. We cheer for those who can run the fastest, jump the longest, or catch a ball with skill. We honor athletes who make difficult feats look easy. We erect statues to them. We have halls of fame to honor their accomplishments. Many pay lots of money each year on merchandise representing their favorite team and player.
What about those of us who are not as skilled in sports? Does that make us less worthy? I dream about crossing the finish line in an Ironman competition. Chances are I’ll never have the time to train or the mental stamina to complete that massive goal.
Athletic goals are wonderful, but God values something more deeply. As great as it is to train, compete, and to honor those who accomplish great goals in the sports realm, I’m comforted that He primarily looks at the heart.
God created our physical bodies to run and play and do the work He has given us to do. I believe God enjoys seeing us use our bodies the way He made them to function. But He delights in a heart that is devoted to Him. He exalts those who humble themselves and yield to His plans. He honors those who spend time with Him in order to just get to know Him. Life is a marathon, but with God we can finish the race (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Lord, help me grasp the truth that your greatest delight is not in what I can do, but in my devotion to you. Amen.
Go Deeper ― Our culture is not so different from Biblical times. The people of the Bible were often guilty of overlooking the qualities of a person’s heart and seeing only the physical appearance or abilities. Read 1 Samuel 16 and see how God chose a king based on the heart, not on appearances.
Photo Credit: Mi Pham