“When Saints become Sinners”
Merry Friday by Parris Bailey
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV)
I couldn’t help but have a horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach seeing the front page of the USA TODAY with a picture of Sean Payton plastered on it. Like all of us on that now famous Superbowl night in which the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts with an interception in the final minutes of the last quarter, it’s was a night never to be forgotten. I think all of us can still see Sean Payton sleeping holding onto the Lombardi trophy.
My family knows I’m not much of a sports fan but that night was different. As a child I grew up with my mom working for the New Orleans Saints, she even drove a black and gold Mustang. The New Orleans Saints have became a part of our city and our livelihood.
So what happens when Saints become sinners? When our dreams shatter because of man? Even the great apostle Paul was afraid that he too might become a castaway. Thayer Definition is this: not standing the test, not approved or that which does not prove itself such as it ought; unfit for, spurious, reprobate. The book of Revelations bids us a sober warning, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:11) Spurgeon even asks us this question. “Am I now a Christian? am I living as a Christian should now? am I evincing to others, am I giving to myself daily, constant, growing evidence that I am actuated by the pure principles of the gospel, and that that gospel is the object of my highest preference, and my holiest and constant desire? O how holy would be the ministry, if all should endeavor every day to live and act for Christ and for souls with as much steadiness and fidelity as did the apostle Paul!”
I’m not here to be the judge of who is a Saint or who is the Sinner. I do know God tries the hearts of men. “You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24) Another version says, “There is room for all to get the prize. You cannot fail if you run well. Yet there should be a noble emulation; you should endeavor to outdo one another. And it is a glorious contest who shall get first to heaven, or have the best rewards in that blessed world. I make it my endeavor to run; so do you, as you see me go before you.”
At the end of the day we all are in the great chase for the eternal glory. Saint or Sinner, you decide, in the meantime keep your eyes on the prize!