It’s No Game – The Outcome is Certain

“Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:2

Image courtesy of Hope Church Newham

The technological revolution of recent decades has brought countless changes to our lives. Most have been positive – for example, those that allow us to manage time better.

Many sports fans have taken full advantage. Rather than set aside three hours (or more) for a scheduled game, they record it. Now, they can watch at their convenience.

The challenge is what comes next. Most fans don’t want to know the game’s outcome in advance. So, unless they can watch it soon after recording, they have to dodge any related chatter.

Think of all the dangerous places this could come up: at work. In a conversation with a friend. In the grocery store line. On social media, radio, TV …

Cover your ears?

One would almost have to hide in a cave to avoid spoiling the surprise. All it takes is one nearby person exclaiming “Wow, can you believe the last-second play the (FILL IN YOUR FAVORITE TEAM) made to win the other day?”

Obviously, if you already know the game’s result, you’re much less interested in watching it. Why would you be? Isn’t suspense part of the fun?

Similarly, for many business executives, the fulfilling part of running a company is the many challenges. Is their vision the right one? Are their decision-making skills on point? Can they steer the organization through rough times? Do they have what it takes to be a leader?

If they already know ahead of time that everything will turn out OK (or otherwise), well, to quote the great B.B. King, “the thrill is gone.”

Everyone, regardless of what they do for a living or amusement, faces uncertainty in their lives. Maybe it’s the score of a football game. Maybe it’s the course of business. Or perhaps it’s something far more ominous, such as waiting on critical health test results.

The one certainty

We, as Christians, can only be certain of one thing in life: God loves us.

Consider Psalm 52:8: “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.

Or Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We know the ultimate outcome. Jesus conquered death. He granted us eternal salvation.

Our lives are like a recorded football game. Nothing will separate us from God’s love – no dropped passes, or fumbles, or interceptions, or missed field goals.

God always wins. Take solace in this, especially during life’s upheavals – whether job losses, bad business decisions or unwelcome medical news.

True, when we struggle with hard times, God’s presence might seem distant. It’s not. He’s with us. God has fought endless hard battles before we knew the fights even existed.

Keep in mind the words of Nehemiah 2:4-5: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.

Christ has power over what overpowers us. His sacrifice was the ultimate proof of God’s endless love.

God wins. He’ll keep doing so. We win, too, by trusting Him and proclaiming His glory.

It’s no game. You know the outcome. Rather than a conversation to avoid, this is one you should be shouting for all to hear … because your team will always win.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])

Who You Are? Or Whose You Are?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Image courtesy of Shantell Martin

Ever had one of those dark, frustrating days, when nothing goes right, and you dwell on times past, and end up thinking “I wish I could just start all over again!”

Sure you have. We all have. The human spirit, while indomitable in many ways, is still very prone to questioning itself.

These thoughts often lead to pondering a “restart,” and how it could supposedly make everything better. Wipe the slate clean. Begin again, fresh and new.

It’s not hard to understand. We are all sinful, broken creatures. Every day we fail to meet expectations, whether others’, our own, or God’s. Fortunately, we know at least one of the three will forgive us.

So how do we get better? How do we “fix” ourselves, if such a thing is possible?

The “self-help” industry has thrived on this for decades. Every year, tens of thousands of books are sold, all supposedly holding the secrets to a better life. Motivational speakers criss-cross the U.S. offering their take. And, of course, the business of psychology and mental health has never been stronger.

Is it a matter of heart?

Listen to music, or read poetry, and you’ll be told the answer lies “in your heart.” Yes, it’s all inside. You just need to know where to look, or how deep to dig. If it’s not in one place, try another. If it’s still not obvious, well, then something’s just wrong with you.

Is this approach misguided? Yes, according to Scripture. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Wow! Clearly the wrong place to be searching!

To reinforce, paraphrasing Mark 7:21, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts …

So where do we find the solution to living better lives, and being better people, and making things better for our fellow man? Consider Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”

We, as humans, often obsess over how others perceive us. We struggle with how we view ourselves. We try to decide who we really want to be. Meanwhile, we keep all those self-help authors, and speakers, and consultants, and a lot of others, in business.

A change of perspective

Let’s reverse the perspective. Instead of looking in, try looking out. Take the spotlight off yourself. If you’re a believer, focus it on God, and his son Jesus, and all His wondrous teachings and guidance about how we can live lives fulfilled in so many ways.

In other words: Show the world Whose you are, rather than who you are.

Don’t make a show of your accomplishments. Rather, promote what God has done through you.

Don’t brag about the people you know, or who report to you. Instead, make clear Who you serve.

Ask God for more strength, not less burden. Pray to be more like Jesus, and less like ourselves.

Be the “new creation” that Paul wrote about to the Corinthians. Cast aside the old version of who you were, for a new, far better model designed by God.

The great thing is, it’s never too late. Every day is a new opportunity to become a new person in Christ. It costs nothing. Yet the return on your devotion, and time, and changed focus, is incalculable.

It’s a restart, all right – one that will leave you at peace, yet energized and excited to have others see Christ in you.

Think of the money you’ll save on self-help seminars, and the shelf space you’ll have from clearing out all those books. You have much better things to focus on now.

(If you’re ready to embrace Christ, He’s ready for you. Visit C Suite for Christ to join in Christ-centered fellowship with other professionals. Submit a prayer request for a pressing need in your life. Participate in a virtual prayer session to ask God to be with those who have submitted requests. Follow C Suite for Christ on LinkedIn and Facebook. Questions? Contact Paul M. Neuberger at (414) 313-8338 or [email protected])