Athlete, Here is a Reality Check
Matthew 21:31 (NIV)
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you."
Have you ever sat in a locker room or coach’s office, or entered an annual performance review or business meeting only to discover that someone was seeing you, experiencing you and your contributions way differently, far less than you would have thought?
You had moved out of their rotation, fallen deeper in the depth chart. That’s a hard reality check to face.
Jesus brought a bold reality check to the apparent spiritual best of His day, the “All Stars” of the religion game. He said, in essence, the following:
1. God’s kingdom is not defined by personal righteousness but by something else – a humble, trusting, obedient personal relationship to the King.
2. What we think is good may not be good enough. “The Boss” doesn’t always see it like we do.
3. Comparing ourselves to others doesn’t really hold weight with God or determine our kingdom status.
4. The poor in spirit, those humble but often marginalized by others, can often see reality better and find righteous acceptance and kingdom entrance faster than the self-righteous (Matthew 5:3).
5. Reality checks are what our King lovingly, boldly brings and what we really, truly need if we want things to end well.
O may our King keep saying to us, “I tell you the truth …” And let us receive His kingdom evaluations of us with full acceptance, immediate adjustment and great joy!
Reflect: Have you ever asked God for a reality check? Who might be someone else who could offer you meaningful feedback today? Would you welcome and accept it if it came? Would you dare to ask God and others, “How are you experiencing me today?”
A prayer to consider: “Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 — a great verse to memorize and pray back to God often!)
And one more thing, LORD … Keep telling me the truth about me, both affirmations and adjustments needed. You’ve got a permanent green light with me. I really need Your good coaching that brings me to the end of my self-justifying ways.
Fill my lifetime with reality checks. Spirit, speak. May I have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to love, follow and obey. Help me agree with You. I want to be useful for You and a blessing to others. Amen.