Athlete, Do Not Give In
Galatians 2:5 (Berean Study Bible)
We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
Here are four statements worth thinking about:
1. The mind is strong. The body will follow it if the inner voice is clearer and louder.
2. The heart is strong. It will lead a life well, even to death, if it leads with conviction, if it chooses truth/reason/faith over feelings and social pressures.
3. Idols of the heart are strong. It takes the power of God and our absolute humility before Him to break them.
4. If you don’t stand for something, you will likely fall for anything.
In writing his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul helps all of us wrestle with pressures to give in, to give up, to conform, to trade in truth for what feels better, to believe a lie, to be led away by circumstances, others, or even ourselves, and to become enslaved to any of a host of self-justifying practices.
That’s why Paul went on to say things like this:
“ … acting in line with the truth of the gospel ,,,“ (Galatians 2:14 NIV). This is the ultimate needed alignment for life.
“Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?” (Galatians 3:2). Be led by the Spirit, not self-justification.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery“ (Galatians 5:1). Enslavement always knocks at the door disguised as freedom. Don’t answer.
“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?“ (Galatians 5:7). Not everything that gets your attention deserves your attention.
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14). We were made for others.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh“ (Galatians 5:16). When the Spirit coaches us, we win. When He doesn’t, we won’t.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ“ (Galatians 6:2). We are commanded to carry another person’s load, not just ours … just like Jesus.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up“ (Galatians 6:9). [Not giving in has reward.]
Think about those powerful lines. Read them again. Probe your mind and heart as you do.
Don’t compromise the truth of the gospel. Let these words remain in you. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.
Reflect: Where are you being tempted to give in? What Galatians verse hit home for you? Where might you be self-justifying and in need of godly surrender today?
A prayer to consider: LORD, help me to see the gospel beautifully, clearly, truly today. O how I need it. Help me to not give in, even for a moment. I don’t want to live a self-justifying life. I want to remain with You. Coach me to be like Jesus by the power of your Spirit. Amen.