The 2012 Summer Olympic Games have been completed. Over ten thousand athletes from around the globe have demonstrated their unique abilities as they have competed with each other for the bronze, silver, and gold medals. Fields of competition have included everything from trampoline gymnastics to water polo and, of course, the more common track and field events. No matter what the event, they have demonstrated a great deal of self- control and discipline. There is definitely a cost involved in being a champion.
The scriptures often make a comparison between athletes and the Christian life. In I Corinthians 9:24--27 we read, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we are imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified."
The struggle has its reward. When the Olympians stand on the podium, their hearts are not filled with regret but joy!
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