Good Saturday morning! A test, the chance at a job, or an athletic contest all come to mind when the desire to win becomes strong enough to overcome our desire to avoid sin. In the moment, the tennis player sees that his ball landed out, but the umpire screened by something does not make the call. Perhaps it is a team sport and you advise someone to do something he or she would not otherwise do. Tests are so competitive that any of us might be tempted when a cheat is offered. How does one fill out a resume honestly when the other applicants show up with well-padded work experiences and life histories? Of course, that is exactly what we are commanded and called to do.
A lighthouse does not get to hide its light to win a match. A lie to get someone into a church meeting is not the right way to spread the good news. Jesus refused the hyssop-tainted sponge that would ease the pain of the cross. And, our Lord refused to call the 12 legions of angels that surely stood by to rescue Him should the word be given. How would calling the angelic host have been sin? Jesus had already submitted to the will of His Father. His word was given, but it was the word for our salvation and not His.
So, with that perfect example, what should the Christian do when in the heat of the contest he suddenly realizes that he sinned to win? I think we all know the answer to that one. The conscience with the Spirit will certainly tell of confession, repentance, and seeking forgiveness. And just maybe...concede a match, lose a job, or refuse to cheat on a test. In this tough world, after the win, are you kidding me? You or I may one day be called to make a stand for Christ in that very way. Easy? Of course not! That is why we need the strength of the One who already made His stand for us.Have a wonderful weekend in Christ!