Monday, September 19, 2011

Life is a Relay not a Sprint

Last night I was in church and our pastor was reading a passage of scripture before his message and one of the verses seemed to jump off the page at me. The verse was 2 Timothy 2:2.

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”

Here Paul was instructing the young preacher Timothy that he was to remember the things that he heard Paul teach and preach. Then Timothy was to teach others the things that Paul had taught him.

I’m afraid too many of us are living the Christian life like it is a sprint instead of relay. A sprinter is concerned only about himself. The only concern that a sprinter has is to make sure he gets to the finish line in first place. This is the way that many Christians are living their lives. They are only concerned about their own life, or only the life of their family. As long as they make it to heaven, or as long as they understand the scriptures then that is good enough for them.

From Paul’s description in this verse the Christian life should be a relay. A relay is run by a team of people who run as hard as they can, and then they pass on the baton to someone else who can run after they are finished. This is the way the Christian life is to be lived.

One of the darkest times in history, in fact we refer to it as the “dark ages”, was when the church decided that the average man should not be able to read or understand the Bible. The church felt that it was better that the average man just took the priest’s word concerning the scriptures instead of reading and learning for himself. The church was so strong in this belief that they even persecuted and even killed those who would try to translate the Bible into a language the average man could understand. This brought on a great deal of false religion, traditionalism, and false doctrine. The main reason that the church wanted these people in the dark was because that means they could not be held accountable for the things that they taught.

Sadly this is the way that some so called “men of God” want their people to be. They do not want their people to know as much as them, definitely not more. For if their people knew the truths of the Bible this would mean they would be more accountable for the things that they preached and taught. God help us when we delight in the ignorance of the scriptures!

Paul wanted to be held accountable for what he said. He said that the church who studied the scriptures for themselves were “noble.” And in the verse I mentioned earlier he wanted Timothy to teach others, so they in turn could teach others.

It should be our desire to learn all we can about the scriptures, and then pass that knowledge along to someone else. I want my children to be better Christians than I am. I want my Sunday school class to study along, and be wise in the scriptures so that they can teach someone else the things that I have taught to them. In fact, when I am the most discouraged, regarding my class, is when I feel like that those I teach do not fully understand what I have taught them.

God help us to live our Christian life like it is a relay. Help us to pass along the baton of the scriptures to someone else, so they can do the same. How can the word of God live on if we are not teaching and training someone who can do the same? The answer is that it cannot.

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