1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
'I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.' MSG
You know there are many pastors and preachers that have fallen. That is have had moral failures. They bring shame on the gospel. Some recently even.
This is just so sad. Jesus bride, His church gets hurt. People get shipwrecked, lose their faith. People become bitter and angry proclaiming, "you big fat hypocrite."
When I see this I think to myself, I pray please God don't let it be me. Why do I think that? Because it could be me it could be you for that matter.
I don't want to take my eyes off the ball.
I dont want to 'become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].' 'I don't want to miss out to become disqualified. 'I don't ever want to bring shame on Jesus.
You see you can know the right stuff, preach the right stuff and not live the right stuff.
If it can happen to the best of them it can happen to you.
William Gypsy Lee said: ministers need to look out for three common pitfalls. In fact whether in ministry or not, these three areas are vulnerabilities to any believer:
Girls, (or guys)
Girls - the danger of flattery and adulterous affairs.
Many new Christians also have done amazing going for God then a relationship, a wrong relationship takes them away from God's best.
Gold - the danger of money becoming the motivating factor for ministry.
With new believers I have also seen someone who wasn't working be blessed with work and all of a sudden it's all about the money and they stop coming to church and spend their free time working.
Glory - pride taking over when successful.
Also seen new Christians get offended and leave church because of pride. I've seen people look for the approval of man and put down the call of God for a qualification or status.
These are just brief examples.
Which area have you been taken down?
Which area has been a cause of you backsliding?
So in conclusion let's run the race in order to win. Like a boxer let's discipline ourselves, let's be accountable, let's be aware of areas of weakness and vulnerability talk about it, set boundaries, and avoid the common traps and pitfalls.
Because I just don't want to be, you don't want to be a hypocrite.
don't wear the tee-shirt.
Father thank You that I dont have to be a hypocrite. Thank You for a way of escape. Forgive me for any sin now. Search me and try me that I might fireproof my life. Help me to put girls, gold, and glory in their rightful place in Jesus name amen.