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"God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast and when I run, I feel his pleasure."

Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire

Pass properly

Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy2:14, 15

Timothy’s job was to keep reminding his hearers of both gospel truth and gospel ministry (1:8-10, 2:8-10). This means keeping to the revealed gospel and to the pattern of suffering which must follow for the trustworthy and capable teacher.

When Paul talks of “reminding” he is not doing so because Timothy has a particularly bad memory. “Reminding” is the work! Reminding about the gospel, about the need to suffer, to be trustworthy and to keep teaching the message. This is the job: no more, no less. Paul is departing this world; Timothy’s role is to keep reminding of these apostolic truths so that the church will continue to proclaim the truth.

How often have we gone to a coach with what we think is a very advanced technical problem only to be reminded of the basics. In sport as in the Christian life, unless you get the basics right, you will never make progress. We may not like it – in sport or faith – but we often need to be reminded!

Alex Ferguson once said of a player at another Premiership club, “He could start a fight in an empty house!” We should be peacemakers and not quarrel-makers in our clubs.

Finally Paul reminds Timothy of the standard to aspire to – “to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed”. In Christians in Sport we talk about an audience of one. The challenge for us as we represent Christ in the world of sport is to remember that audience of one principle every day and to seek God’s approval first in every situation. Then we will never need to be ashamed.

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