During the 2016 Summer Olympics, we saw a wonderful example of sportsmanship. But I think we saw much more than that.
In an incident during the women’s 5000 meter race, two runners, Abbey D’Agostino (United States) and Nikki Hamblin (New Zealand) collided. Abbey stopped to help Nikki up and they continued. Soon, Abbey realized she had suffered a more serious injury and struggled to complete the race. Nikki returned the favor and helped Abbey up and they finished the race together. Because of their example of sportsmanship, they both earned a place in the finals.
I just finished a study of First Corinthians and at the conclusion of the study we tried to summarize Paul’s purpose in writing the letter to the Corinthians. What was he after?
I think Paul wanted them to realize that they weren’t in this world to make a life for themselves. He wanted them to understand that they were all in this together. He taught them to worship together and to work towards unity.
Those two Olympic runners had trained and worked for years to have a shot at competing in an arena most of us would never dream of. They came from different countries but had the same goal on that day. When the race began they were focused on one thing, running that race with all they had and achieving their goal.
But then something happened. A collision of their bodies and their worlds. They both made the same choice to put another’s needs before their own. They both risked losing all they had worked for in order to help a fellow runner.
In First Corinthians, Paul asks the church to do the same thing. To come together, to look out for one another and to serve the body of Christ.
Are you willing to set your own goals aside at times in order to help another brother or sister in Christ?
“Instead, God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the less honorable, so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.” – 1st Corinthians 12:24-26(CSB)