Our physical lives last just a short time in the broad span of eternity, and keeping that in mind helps us to keep our priorities straight. And striving to do that is another way to have the Heart of a Champion.
Developing a heart like Paul’s is a worthy endeavor, whether you are in a leadership position or not. While these characteristics are especially true for those who lead, the simple fact of the matter is that they are equally applicable for all who seek to serve and follow Christ closely.
In 2 Corinthians 5:10-11, we can how Paul reveals another characteristic of such a person. One who has the heart of a champion seeks to please God, knowing full well that one day he will stand before Him. Take a look:
Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Let’s look at his passage in two different ways. First of all, Paul says that our ambition should be to be pleasing to God. The Greek terms he uses here are ones that describe one who loves honor and seeks to achieve some level of civic recognition. It is used widely outside of the New Testament in Koine Greek. Within the New Testament however, this terminology is only used two more times, and it takes a higher, more pure view of aspiration and ambition.
So to make this our goal is to seek with all our heart, and to seek it, not for our own honor and glory, but for God’s. Living to please God is the highest of our goals, and we can easily become overwhelmed by how difficult it may seem at times. However, Paul gives a great motivation for living such a life. That’s the second point to look at in this passage.
One day, each of us will stand before God, and have to answer for our words and our actions, to receive either a reward or judgment. While it’s true that all mankind will have to face this day of accounting, Paul’s focus here seems to be limited to believers. Paul states here that our actions and our words are important, not because we can be saved by them, but because they display the fruit of that salvation, demonstrated in our lives.
The fact that we will one day stand before God in this manner is an excellent motivation for living a life that pleases God. Knowing that we will either hear, “Well done,” or “I never knew you,” can be a powerful tool in allowing our lives to show to the world that we belong to God, and that he directs our lives. And to beg the question a bit, why wouldn’t we want to please the one who saved us?
Paul cheerfully pursued a life that pleased God, knowing that just such a day was coming. You and I should do the same.
Question: Do you live your life in a manner pleasing to God? In what areas do you struggle with this? What can you do to strengthen yourself in that area? You can leave a comment by clicking here.