"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Have you ever had a coach who always seemed to pick on you or yell at you more than your other teammates? I felt like this about my high school baseball coach, and I eventually asked him why he always yelled at me. His reply: "I get on you more than some of the other players because I see the talent you have, and I expect more out of you. If I didn't think you could do better, I wouldn't expect you to be better." This gave me a whole different perspective on his actions, and I learned to take his criticism not as anger, but as motivation to become a better athlete. I've carried his response with me and have seen it come up in my own coaching. I really appreciate my athletes who take my criticism and use it to make themselves better.
Have you ever read through the books of Leviticus or Deuteronomy? I'll admit that they are not the most appealing books in the Bible. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that they scream an important lesson: God expects a lot out of us. Why? Because "the wages of sin is death."
We are created in the image of God, and He expects us to model that. Unfortunately, we're human, and perfection is not easily attained. But praise God for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, who not only modeled perfection as a human, but who also took our sins upon Himself and nailed them to the cross.
The next time you feel God pushing you, take some time to hear what He's saying: I know the person that you can be and I expect more out of you. Even so, I still love you.
1. How do you take criticism? Do you get angry or do you look at it as an opportunity to make yourself better?
2. Do you approach your faith life with the same drive and intensity as you do your athletics? Are you striving to grow in your relationship with God?