Remember when you were a kid and your parents would talk about earning privileges? Whenever we would show some responsibility, we might be allowed certain opportunities that would otherwise not have been permissible, or even better, when we were allowed to do things that our brothers and/or sisters could not!! I would like to show you from the Bible how God gives this same opportunity to those who are His children. Accepting Christ as Saviour is free and is available to everyone, but God’s blessings are not free, though they are readily available!
I am certain that most of you heard about this incident and are familiar with the story. I would like to take a moment to refresh our memories about Mr. Mathieu’s story, and explore the idea of learning from his experience. On Friday, August 10, 2012, LSU Coach Les Miles made the announcement of the dismissal of LSU football star Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu was a college sensation who was nicknamed “The Honey Badger” during the Tigers 13-0 run to the BCS championship game in the 2011-2012 season. He regularly made big plays on defense, including two fumble returns for touchdowns, and had two punt returns for touchdowns late in the season. But the 5-feet-9, 175-pound Mathieu also ran afoul of a drug issue with two teammates last season. Mathieu, running back Spencer Ware and cornerback Tharold Simon were suspended for the Auburn game after testing positive for synthetic marijuana. Mathieu, who would have been a junior this season, was likely destined to skip his senior season and apply to the NFL draft in April 2013. In two seasons, the New Orleans native and St. Augustine alum played in 26 games and recorded 133 tackles with 16 for loss and four interceptions. He holds the LSU career record for forced fumbles with 11 and is third in recoveries with eight. He also averaged 15.6 yards on 27 punt returns. He paired with Morris Claiborne to become the first teammates named All American at cornerback by the Associated Press. The legend of the honey badger grew throughout the year and climaxed when he electrified Tiger Stadium with a 92-yard, game-changing punt return for a touchdown to help beat Arkansas, while playing safety for the first time. The next week, he scored on a 62-yard punt return and set up another touchdown with a 47-yarder as LSU rallied past Georgia. He was SEC Defensive Player of the Year and captured the “Chuck Bednarik Award” as the top defensive player in the nation. He finished fifth in the Heisman balloting and garnered 34 first-place votes. Now his options are more limited. He would have to sit out if he transfers to a Football Bowl Subdivision (1-A) team but could play immediately if he is accepted as a transfer at a Football Championship Subdivision (1-AA) school or lower. (Edited excerpt of Jim Kleinpeter’s report for the Times Picayune)
Regardless of Tyrann’s potential or his ability to make contributions to the team, he was given exactly what his actions had warranted. During the football season he was rewarded for his performance on the field, and during the off-season he learned that there is also a negative side to that rule. In Proverbs 3, God breaks down His benefits for us. We are allowed the privilege to decide what we want out of life and He tells us exactly how to get it! Serving God is not mysterious or complicated; it’s laid out like a formula with a guaranteed outcome. Our heavenly Father keeps this very simple for us. It is cause and effect; your reward or punishment depends on your desire and effort.
Often times, some believers will trap themselves in a negative, carnal mindset and convince themselves that people who are without God and are free to make their own choices have an easier life than they do. The devil enjoys being able to bring a child of God to this discouraged point in their lives. I think of it this way, before we accept Christ as our Saviour, we are like His neighbor’s child. God still loves us, and he would do his best to keep us from harm or be willing to give us a ride if we needed one, but he is not 100% responsible for our every need. The envy of God’s children comes in when He gives the neighbor’s child $20 for cutting the grass for Him! We as His children have done this time after time and never received $20 for doing that; so, we convince ourselves that God is not being fair to us. What we fail to realize is that God took on complete responsibility for us when He became our Father, and now we have an obligation to obey. He meets our every need, and tells us in His Word exactly what to do to receive the blessings we desire from Him. The real problem is we want what we cannot have, and that is to live according to the flesh and not the Spirit without consequence!!
Believer, it is a privilege to be a child of the King! We need to keep the right perspective on our relationship and realize that God will never compromise with us. He will not sit back and silently watch us live contrary to the Scriptures. This is a unique relationship that we have with Him; because, most relationships require compromise in order to succeed. The reason we compromise is because both parties must admit some wrong doing and agree to change, but God has never and will never do wrong and as a result cannot compromise! Being a Christian is not easy, but it is a privilege well worth the effort.