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Competing By the Rules

October 14th, 2007

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes
according to the rules”

(2 Timothy 2:5)

The Associated Press reports, “Jones surrenders five medals from 2000 Olympics. Her reputation is gone now so are Marion Jones’ Olympic medals. Jones gave back five medals she won at Sydney Olympics…further punishment for her admission that she was a drug cheat…She will be sentenced on Jan. 11, and prosecutors had suggested to Jones the prison term would be a maximum of six months” (Southeast Missourian, Oct. 9, 2007, B).

We were saddened to learn of Marion Jones’ recent admission that she had used illegal steroids prior to the Sydney Olympics. We want to think the best of our heroes. Unfortunately, even the best among us take a fall. Paul’s statement in 2 Timothy 2:5 appears as relevant as this week’s newspaper, despite a time lapse of several thousand years.

1. 2 Timothy 2:5 teaches that rules count.

2. 2 Timothy 2:5 teaches also that competing is necessary for a reward.

3. And, taken together, if there is going to be a crown received, then the competing must be according to the rules.

Marion Jones is not unique in her transgression (Rom. 3:23). But, when it comes to receiving the crown of the Christian reward, we want to be aware of the possibility of disqualification (2 Tim. 3:8). So, “let us run with endurance..”

-Robert M. Housby

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