By Rev Paul Lyons
You probably either love it or loathe it! Football fans are enjoying every minute of it. The football World Cup in Brazil is here. In between the matches there is a good question you might like to ponder on, ‘Can football make my life better?’
One of the least glamorous positions in football is goalkeeping. Yet if the goalkeeper makes a mistake it can lead to the team conceding a goal and losing the game. So every goalkeeper’s motto is, ‘I must keep the ball out.’
To answer my earlier question I think there are three aspects of everyday life we need to keep out of our lives to make them better...
(1) Pride – the bible teaches us about the destructive impact of pride. We read in Proverbs ‘when pride comes then comes disgrace’, ‘pride only breeds quarrels’ and ‘a man’s pride brings him low.’
It can be good to be proud and take delight and satisfaction in one’s own efforts. But pride can also be destructive when it leads you to be stubborn when you have done something wrong and won’t admit or apologise.
(2) Procrastination – is putting off to tomorrow what you could do today!
We need not to be tempted to put off to tomorrow what God is leading us to do today.
What might God be asking people to do today? In Micah chapter 6 verse 8 the prophet teaches that what God requires of people today is ‘to act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with God.’
(3) Preoccupation – I was visiting a church member in hospital recently. She has been in hospital for six weeks. Much of it confined to bed. This is understandably a difficult time for someone. I asked her how she was feeling? She told me about the medical problem, diagnosis and prognosis. Then she said something that made me think. She said: “Enough about me. Tell me what’s happening with you and your family?”
Jesus taught in Mark chapter 10 verse 45: ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.’ God calls us to lay down our lives for one another. In this plan there is joy and fulfilment.
Millions of people have been touched by the life of 19-year-old Stephen Sutton recently because of his bravery in the face of terminal bowel cancer.
He created a bucket list that included raising £10,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust. In the end £4million was raised.
Before his death, Stephen said: “I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time any more. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said of Stephen: “His spirit, bravery and fundraising for cancer research were all an inspiration.”
Paying tribute at his funeral service, the Dean of Lichfield, Very Reverend Adrian Dorber, told gathered mourners: “Stephen chose to share his exuberance with us, not his pain.”
By seeking to keep pride, procrastination and preoccupation of oneself out of our lives we will make them better!