"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2Tim3:16-17
Having proclaimed Christ as Lord and Savior for nearly three decades, you would think that I’d be able to share my beliefs without hesitation. But the truth is that for many of those years, I was content to be just a casual, amateur Christian. I’d let my actions be my witness. A few years ago, there was a great opportunity for me to share Christ with my brother, and in truth, I blew it. I hadn’t been practicing consistently; as Christians that means searching the scriptures, being constantly in prayer and fellowship with other believers.
Sports superstars usually have the “complete package”; they seem to excel in every aspect of their sport. Great sprinters get out of the blocks, accelerate to top speed, and finish strong. Great golfers can shape their tee shots to set up for their best approach, control the flight onto the green, putt well, and are adept at recovering from trouble. Great running backs combine speed, agility, power, vision and rarely drop the ball.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. No one is born the “complete package”. Superstars build upon their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. They never quit working on the basics. It’s been said the difference between and amateur and a professional is that the amateur works until he “gets it right” while the professional works until he can’t get it wrong.
Paul makes many references to athletics, so I think it is fair to make the comparison for believers. The amateur believer, the layperson, knows that salvation is through the finished work of the cross. They believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God”, and they will share their faith when it is convenient and doesn’t cause any sacrifice or discomfort.
Our time on earth is temporary. Believers are put here as pilgrims passing through this world; we’re to be in the world, but not of the world. We are to influence the world for Christ, not have our beliefs in Christ compromised by worldly pursuits. In short, our most important role in this world is to be used by God to spread his message.
If we are serious about our faith, we should endeavor to rise above the level of the amateur or casual believer and endorse Paul’s admonition that the Bible should be our training manual so that we can become “thoroughly equipped”, and like the professional be always ready for whatever we encounter in our primary mission to spread the Gospel message.
Lord, help me to discipline my spirit with consistent effort worthy of your blessings. Help me to understand your word and apply it to my daily life. Most importantly, when the challenge arises and the opportunity is before me, please fill me with your spirit that I might accomplish exactly what you'd have me say and do to further your kingdom.