Contender or Pretender
Repost from Sunday sermon 6.26.21, because this is so vital right now. 5.6.23
I remember times in my life when I decidedly committed myself to being a true contender. Bear with me as I list some:
- Young softball pitcher
- 16 year old female table tennis champion
- Award winning French Horn student
- Honors college student
- Ace volleyball server
- SUP 10Ker
In each of these stages, my focus, energy, effort, thoughts and time was (mostly) willingly given to improving, becoming stronger, better, more accurate and fluid in what I was contending for.
Training, discipline, and a long term goal, pushed aside laziness, discouragement and cheap talk. I was purposed to contend and be the best I could in an effort to win the prize.
If you’re looking to be a contender, your daily decisions are what put you on the road to that prize, not your words.
Contenders and pretenders look alike on the surface, but it is their actions that set them apart.
Pretenders take the path of least resistance, while contenders take disciplined training and overcome. There’s no achieving that championship belt by sitting quietly and watching others in the ring.
Pretenders allow laziness to take over and then the comfort zone anchors them in.
Here’s why it matters, whether you are a contender or pretender…
“… I felt the need to challenge you to vigorously defend and contend for the beliefs that we cherish.”Jude 3
Judah, was Jesus’ half brother and it is he that is speaking here. He was writing to the early believers because he wanted to challenge them to contend for the things that Jesus had taught them. Fight for them, for their truth, for their preeminence, for their validity. He was calling them to be contenders for the faith not pretenders.
No words of the Bible could be any truer today. Judah is calling to us, to remind us to contend for the beliefs we cherish, not become lazy and allow them to slip from our minds, lives, and national awareness.
Contend, with the same discipline as an athlete, for Christian beliefs that are under attack. Focus on them, exercise with them, spur with others- as an athlete and true contender for the faith, not just some lazy “Christian”.
Here is a quick list I made of Christian messages that are under attack:
- God as creator
- All are created equal and in God’s image
- God loves all mankind
- The Bible is his word and divinely inspired
- The inerrancy of the bible
- There is truth and there is absolute truth
- There is life after death lived in heaven or hell for everyone
- Right and wrong
- Power and freedom come from God not government
- Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman
- The church is God’s institution designed to execute God’s will on earth
- Life begins at conception
- Male and female
We are told to contend for these beliefs! Judah tells us to vigorously defend these!
What are we doing Christians?
We cannot allow the influences of this society to sweep away these beliefs that we cherish!
Think too about the values and beliefs brought to this nation by our founding fathers. We must not let them slip or be retaught guised in lies. This is serious.
I can’t help it, what are we doing?
Are you a contender or a pretender?
Go with God,