Owning the Process and Running a Better Race

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No truth does the Bible more clearly teach than that what we do is the result of what we are. To a great degree the experiences of life are the fruition of our own thoughts and deeds. – Education p. 146

Ownership is an important concept.  My car is mine because I bought it.  I am the beneficiary of the positives, a method of transportation, and responsible for the negatives, paying for gas, repairs and insurance.  When I was younger my sphere of ownership was a smaller than it is now, with things like LEGOS, and it will continue to grow into the future.  But the benefits and responsibilities of ownership extend beyond mere physical objects to the internal, our thoughts and actions.

In life, a good deal of maturity is wrapped up in the concept of ownership of our own thoughts, actions, and choices.  We look at a person younger than ourselves and see their immaturity as they blame their associates for an action they all participated in, rather than owning up to their own bad choices.  We see a young father who has embraced the responsibility of caring for and serving his young wife and children, and see that as a sign of maturity, as he grows in his ability to handle new responsibilities.  He has chosen well, and will see the benefits of living a right life.

Proverbs 23:7 – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

I like to think that I’m a Christian.  A converted one.  One whose heart is safely given to the Lord.  When I do something that I know doesn’t meet the Bible standard, upon reflection, it’s startling to see that there are still things within myself to be surrendered and purified.  I have to take ownership for my own actions.  I need to look at myself as the source.

This really drives home the point that sin, while often thought of as an action, something external, is really rooted in our minds.  If we want to have different actions, we need to have different thoughts.

This is why David cried out:

Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

If I perform poorly, it is because I have trained poorly.  If I act poorly, it is because I have thought poorly.  How the race is run determines the results.

Hebrews 12:1,2 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Therefore, let us ask God for a new heart and mind. Let’s be fresh from the source.  As God takes us on our Christian journey, he will help us to grow by helping us to overcome after he has shown us weak spots in our characters.  It’s sobering to continually see things within ourselves that need improving, but seen another way, we realize that God see something valuable within us, and he wants to keep purifying us as a refiner purifies gold to make it more valuable.

So let’s submit to the process.  Let’s own our shortcomings, and submit ourselves to the purifying process.  Laying aside all hindrances to us running a good race.

Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

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