Category Archives: Meditations
By Nathan Richardson, Heartland Community Church
Confidence in the Race
Last week we touched on the idea that life is a race and we want to live a life that is not running aimlessly. We should desire to live a live of purpose and that the race is important enough to finish.
Everyone likes to win. In fact I think that when someone joins a race the desire is that they would win the race. Everyone wants to win. Shawn Johnson, as a 16 year old from Des Moines, Iowa, had the world watching her in 2008 during the Olympics in Beijing. She was the favorite to win the gold but another American, Nastia Liukin finished with the gold. Shawn Johnson was devastated. She felt like she let everyone down and she did not measure up. On top of that, while on the podium the person giving her the silver medal told her “I am sorry,” making her feel like the silver was not enough.
Maybe you also heard the name Michael Phelps. Before Rio he had a total of 22 Olympic medals with 18 gold medals. By all standards he has achieved all the success the world has to offer. However after the 2012 Olympics he went home depressed. He started drinking heavily and even received a DUI. This set him into a deeper depression to the point where he considered suicide. His friend Ray Lewis, former Baltimore Raven linebacker, gave him the book The Purpose Driven Life and shared with him about Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:4 says, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God.” Both Johnson and Phelps are very successful Olympians but have struggled with depression and anxiety. They feel like they cannot measure up. I think a lot of us feel like this especially when we try to do everything on our own, or when we allow ourselves to listen to what the world is saying about us.
In the Old Testament God gave us 10 Commandments. Sure it helps when we follow it. But no human in history has followed it perfectly except Jesus. If we had been able to follow the law perfectly, we would not have needed Jesus to come to earth to die for our sins. In other words, as good as we might be, we can never save ourselves. It is only through the death and resurrection of Christ that we can be saved. Knowing this gives us a hope that leads to a confidence in Christ.
If you have been watching the Olympics the last few weeks maybe you saw David Boudia and Steele Johnson win a silver in synchronized diving. After they won they both shared how they find their identity in Christ. They have both experienced this hope that has impacted how they see themselves. Their identity is not built on how they perform, but who God tells them they are. God accepts and loves them as they are, “Children of God.”
You do not have to go through life alone. You do not have to live up to the world’s or even your own expectations. You do not have to be perfect and it is impossible for you to save yourself. Allow yourself not to put the pressure on yourself. God is there waiting for you to accept him and put your hope in him.