I heard this quote recently and for some reason, it just reverberated deep within my soul; at the time it was a perfect message for my husband who, as a law enforcement officer, gets in the arena day in and day out and feels constantly criticized by the public, the media and those who stand on the sidelines but in spite of it all, he gets back in, all for the worthy cause.
Then I got to thinking, yes – this definitely applies to our lives and to all of us who get in the ring for any worthy cause because we’ve all faced criticism (especially the inner critic). But what about taking it even further? Outside our own little bubbles and worlds and looking at the bigger picture. The picture of Christ.
Can we say this is true for us in our faith? Where it truly matters the most?
Are we getting in the arena for our savior? Do we err and fall short all for a taste of victory through Christ? Or – are we the critic?
Do we point out where others stumble as we safely stand on the sidelines, thinking how we could have done it better?
I can say for myself, I tend to lightly tread on the outside for fear of failing – but I know, God can’t use me there.
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalms 1:1-3 NLT
I’ve determined, I would rather fail while daring greatly in sharing my love for Christ than to stand by and watch the world perish, because I know in doing so – there is no failure, only eternal victory.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT
Christ got into the arena for each one of us; he was criticized and mocked, his face was marred by dust, sweat and blood and he triumphed for our sake. The least we can do is dare greatly for his glory.
“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NLT
Stop & Reflect: Where do you find yourself – on the sidelines or in the arena when it comes to your faith? Do you abstain from sharing God’s grace and mercy for fear of the critic? The bible tells us we’re to be disciples and the light of the world; it’s impossible to experience God’s fullness and purpose for your life by standing on the side – are you willing to get in and fight the good fight?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, please feel free to share your heart in the comments below.