You do not belong to yourself.
Now there is a radical and revolutionary statement. You will not hear that from any politician, or social media guru, or any sports or movie star, or any business leader today. You may not even hear it from many preachers. That’s because the prevailing message in the culture is that it is all about you — your wants, desires, hopes and dreams, and mostly, your rights. Go for the gold. Everything is about you and your rights.
Well the Bible says you don’t have any rights. “You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). You do not belong to yourself; you belong to God because God bought you with the high price of Jesus’ blood.
Wait a minute, God bought me? What does that make me, some kind of slave or something? Exactly. That’s what Paul called himself all the time. “I, Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ…” It was common terminology. It was his joy. He wanted to belong to Christ. When he belonged to himself, he only turned into a religious hypocrite and an angry, bitter man. As Christ’s slave he was a happy man, eager to serve.
Paul loved being called a slave of Jesus Christ because that “bondage” tied him to Jesus and that’s right where he wanted to be. He gave up his rights when he became a servant of Christ. And Christ Himself did the same thing when He came to earth, divested Himself of His rights as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and became a servant to us all. Amazing. How can we expect to be anything more?
The gospel is revolutionary, and that means turning everything on its head. And that’s exactly what this is. It’s not about my rights; it’s about giving up my rights to serve the Lord. That means that we serve the Lord (not ourselves) in everything that we do.
So go for the gold. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s all about why you do it. The important thing is that it’s not for you, but like everything else you do, it’s for the glory of God.
Someone sent me a video from these recent Olympics featuring the Fiji rugby team, who had just won a gold medal, arm in arm in a circle singing at the top of their lungs a song to God about overcoming by the power of the Lord and the blood of the lamb. They were overjoyed in their praise. They had gone for the gold, but it wasn’t for them. It was for the glory of God, and they made sure God got that glory. They did not belong to themselves; they belonged, every one of them, to God. Bought with a high price, giving honor where it was due. That’s the way we do it.
It’s not about the gold; it’s about the glory that all belongs to God.