"Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint."
Inside the octagon, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title-holder Matt Hughes has compiled a 43-5 record using a tactic he is known for called "ground and pound." Outside the octagon Hughes is known for being a down-to-earth, loving family man. "I've already done more in this sport than I thought was possible 10 years ago," he said in an interview prior to his victory over Chris Lytle on March 3, 2007. "My body tells me I've got two years left. It's getting harder each time to go train. I just want to stay home with Audra, work on the farm and watch the kids grow up. Being remembered as a UFC champ is important, but it's more important to be remembered as a good husband and father."
The proverb above warns us not to work ourselves to death for the purpose of acquiring temporary riches, including money, championships, status, etc. It is not saying we shouldn't work hard or that money and other temporary riches are bad, but that we need to be wise in how much we focus our lives on the acquisition of these things.
In order to compete at the highest level in sports, we have to be driven; but when we show no restraint in our drive for riches, we are displaying foolish behavior. The key to showing restraint is knowing who and what we are competing for.
If you are driven to compete for the glory of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to regularly evaluate your focus in competition by prayerfully seeking the counsel of the Lord, allowing Him to show you what is truly most important to you.
1. As a competitor, is a championship the "icing" or the "cake" for you? Why? What's the difference?
2. What do you most want to be remembered for? Why?
3. What causes a lack of restraint in your pursuit of temporary riches?