Monday, April 8, 2002
The 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were full of memorable spectacle and, of course, exciting performances. And, as most Olympics, they were tinged with a little controversy. This time the controversy revolved around some of the judging. For several days the headlines focused on the judging of the pairs figure skating competition. Now, most observers thought the Canadian skaters' flawless performance had won them the gold medal. But, much to almost everyone's surprise, the gold went to the Russian skaters. There was some evidence of deal-making between judges and that might have influenced the results. Commentators discussed how similar judging improprieties had actually shown up in other world class skating competitions over the years. Although the Olympic Committee later decided to award duplicate gold medals to both the Canadians and the Russians, that judging controversy - as well as some others - raised a lot of questions about Olympic judging and Olympic results.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "The Only Judge You Have to Impress."
Now, when the judging is not impartial, athletes can be cheated out of the reward or the medal that they deserve. For a time, at least, it seemed that those Canadian skaters didn't get the reward they had coming. Of course, you don't have to be in the Olympics to have that experience. So many good things that people do - maybe things you've done - go unrewarded ... unappreciated ... even misjudged by people.
It's great to know, though, that there is no way you're going to ultimately be cheated out of the real reward you deserve. And that's important to know to keep you from discouragement, defeat, and resentment when your human judges aren't getting it right.
In Colossians 3:23-24, our word for today from the Word of God, we're reminded about the only Judge that we have to impress. It may be coming at a time when you need to refocus on Who it is you're doing all this for. God says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Man, that helps me put things in perspective! The One whose opinion is the only opinion that really counts knows everything you're doing. He judges it fairly and He will make sure you receive the reward you deserve - no matter what other people think of what you're doing. That's why you work with all your heart on whatever you have to do. That's why you keep going when nobody's saying thanks, when you're not being fairly compensated, when no one seems to notice, no one seems to care. You just look up and say, "This is for You, Jesus." It isn't the church you're doing it for, or the pastor, or your boss, even your family or even the people you're trying to help - you're doing it for Jesus.
It is the "Lord Christ" you are serving. And if you're pleasing Him, there is no way you're going to go unrewarded, unnoticed, or unappreciated. In fact, you'll probably end up getting...no, you'll surely end up getting, a lot more reward than you deserve! Jesus said that the servant who is faithful in a few things will be made ruler over many things! Jesus is why you keep skating ... Jesus is why you don't turn negative ... Jesus is why you don't give up. He is the only Judge you have to impress - and Jesus is the only One whose rewards are really worth your very best!