Most people enjoy playing games, especially board games. They’re fun and interactive, but it also allows us to get our competitive juices flowing. With board games, you roll a die or spin something, then you move forward, take a risk, cash it all in, etc. Win or lose, when the game is over, the board and all the pieces go back in the box. Many times, though, these board games mirror life.
In the board game Life, there’s little cars, peg people, careers, adventures, obstacles, and of course, money. Once everyone retires, the wealthiest player wins. It’s all about the money. And that mirrors a lot of what we see in our culture, and even what goes on right in our very own hearts.
What’s your vision for life? What are you living for? What are you playing for? Who are you playing for? How we answer these questions shapes every decision we make in our lives.
Jesus says in John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus is offering a very different vision for life—not a vision of accumulating stuff, which is how culture defines success. But a vision for us to be the best people for God we can possibly be in order to receive the prize of heaven. That means striving to be “perfect”—not sinless or flawless—but improving, maturing and progressing every single day as Christians (Phil. 3:7-16).
Maturity and growth means not ever giving up on removing the things that keep us from maturing and growing. Paul says in Phil. 3:8 he’s had to remove obstacles from his life and make real sacrifices, all for the sake of being his best for Jesus. All for the sake of deepening and strengthening his relationship with Jesus (Phil. 3:10). How well do you know Jesus? Do you know Him well enough to stop learning? The goal is to know Jesus better every single day.
At this point in his life, Paul had done a great number of things for Jesus. He’d accomplished much for Christ. Paul could have easily rested on his laurels. But he didn’t. “Forgetting those things,” his goal was to be “perfected” in order to be awarded the prize at the end of his race.
We could spend all day talking about what we’ve done and how far we’ve come, but what will we do next with the opportunities and resources we’ve been given? Let’s be our best for Jesus. Let’s be perfect for Jesus.