Right or Left?
"But a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the proceeds from the field?'" -Acts 5:1-3
When I played little league football for the Sharks, we had an undefeated season. We were so good that not a single team even scored against us. Not bad for eight-year-olds!
Needless to say, teams feared the Sharks. After our games, Coach Buckley would hand out the coveted “110%” helmet stickers to players who had played with all their heart and had given that extra effort on the field.
As competitors, we can sometimes be tempted to hold back what is God’s for our own pleasure. But God wants us to give Him what is right, not what’s left. In Luke 6:38, Jesus says:
"Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
Ananias gave what was left, not what was right. Abel gave what was right; Cain gave what was left. We have the choice every time we step onto the field: give what is right or give what’s left. Most athletes give God the leftovers and keep the best for themselves.
God is not honored by our leftovers. The challenge when competing is to release all of your talents, gifts and abilities to become more like Christ on and off the field. We cannot hold back or keep some for ourselves.
1. What does it mean to give God what is right instead of what is left?
2. When is it hard to give God what is right? On the field? Off the field? During practice? During games?
3. How can you make sure that you always give God what is right?
Leviticus 23:10; 1 Timothy 6:7-9
Lord, I know You desire for me to give You all my talents for Your glory. It is hard to totally release all my abilities for You. My selfish desires often want the glory. I confess my sin. Please, Lord, renew my mind. Help me to give You 100 percent of the glory when I compete. Amen.