Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Everything or My Nothing

Motivational football clips like this may seem kinda corny, but I love them. I particularly like this one because I think it is pertinent to the Church.

When I played football, before every game, my position coach would hand out a 'tip sheet'. This tip sheet usually included the plays we were going to run for the game, different looks the opposing defense was going to throw against us and things we had learned from watching film. It also usually had some kind of motivational quote. One week, the tip sheet included 1 John 3:16,

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

What a great verse. That's why I love football. Because, at its core, it is a team of individuals, who are forced to rely on their teammates. It's 11 guys collectively laying themselves down for their teammates, for the greater cause. The team fails if it's 10 out of 11. It has to be 11 guys giving everything, sacrificing for the need of the team. It is 11 guys fighting together no matter the circumstance, whether things have gone to hell or things are fine and dandy. It is a team of guys picking up where other guys lack. When someone gets knocked down, their teammates pick them back up and keep on fighting together. It's a team of guys giving their everything because they know at the end of the day, that the guy next to him would do the same for him.

I wish the Church was more like that. I love the picture in the video with the team linked together, arm and arm, with Tashard Choice saying, "It's my everything or my nothing". I think the Church should look very similar. It's a team of sinners who have been loved by God, who are now called to collectively glorify him. I have such an individualistic view of Church and of Christianity in general. I view church as a place to be served rather than a place where I can joyfully give myself and sacrifice my time, money, comfort and gifts. I think it should look a lot more like the team in this video. A group of people passionately laying down their lives for each other because they know they have been loved by Christ. A group of people fighting sin together and encouraging each other with the Gospel. And when we fall, we are surrounded by our brothers and sisters to pick us up, and help us keep fighting. Just like a football game can be compared to a battle, even more so, the Christian life is a battle. The Church should be people doing battle together. We are fighting sin, we are fighting for our joy, we are fighting for the Gospel! And in battle, people receive wounds. The Church should be people who are heavily invested in each others lives. A place where wounds are openly shown and where Gospel healing takes place. The Church is on mission together. It should be a group of sinners sacrificially loving each other and loving the world because they know they are loved of God.

But, we can only do this when we come to a clearer understanding of Christ's finished work. When are living in the knowledge of God's ridiculous grace shown to rebellious sinners, when we know that Christ accomplished Redemption and that we have gone from fatherless slaves to adopted children, when we are secure in this, only then, will we be able to lay down our lives for each other as 1 John 3:16 tells us to do. As Christians, our commitment to Jesus' bride aka the Church should very much be "My everything, or my nothing".

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