Christ Church Magazine, September 2012

Beyond the Games

The summer months of Olympic sport have been a great treat! The astoundingly good success of ‘Team GB’ has been a privilege to witness.

Such achievement is the result of dedicated training at enormous personal cost. Many competitors spoke in interviews about their family and friends who supported them with patience and encouragement. A lot turned on their bodies being in peak condition.

Yet we live at a time when there is so much emphasis on the body that we can neglect the soul.

In our media dominated world having the right image and looking our very best manipulates our worldview. It may inspire us to tone our muscles, diet towards a smaller clothing size, or buy new sports equipment to get into sport. But what plans have we for our spiritual development?

In one of the New Testament letters we are given the key to achieving the right balance. The apostle Paul doesn’t rubbish taking care of our bodies, but helps us to see this care in the light of what is of greater importance.

Success isn’t achieved through fanatical diets, abstaining from good things that God has given to us to enjoy or by getting caught up in myths. Instead, we’re to attend to what is spiritually wholesome: ‘For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise both for the present life and the life to come’ (I Tim 4v8). A godly life is the good life that we hope to achieve by getting the right balance in our lives. But, we often try to achieve it through ways that do not deliver. Godliness comes from putting our trust in God: ‘This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labour and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe’ (I Tim 4v9).

So, a godly life is lived in relation to God, rather than distant from him or in defiance of his loving rule.

Why not make this new term, this autumn, the time when you engage more fully in the life of your local church to discover the riches of God’s mercy which are ours through Jesus Christ? We explore this each Sunday and invite you to join us.

Paul Kingman.

Christ Church Magazine, August 2012