On May 19, 2019, the CPU Golden Lions, the biggest delegation of Region 6, attended with 7,000 athletes, coaches and officials the opening of the 63rd National Games of the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) at the University of Mindanao, Davao City. The theme of this year’s games is “Sustaining Filipino Athlete for Global Competitiveness.”
The Bible also used sports metaphors. In 2 Timothy 2:5 Paul wrote to Timothy, “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.”
Paul used the rules of games to remind Timothy about his point. Paul and Timothy were familiar with the Isthmian Games. Most probably, both of them had watched and cheered for their chosen athletes. These games were one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece held in Corinth. The games were popular and they were held in between the Olympic Games. According to history books, the first Isthmian Games were held 582 years before the birth of Jesus Christ.
The point that Paul was reminding Timothy of this — “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
And what are these “things” that Timothy heard Paul? These “things” can be found starting in 2 Timothy 2:10. These are the “rules” that Paul were pointing out to Timothy. I found seven. There may be more.
First, salvation is in Jesus Christ alone.
Second, God is faithful even if we are not.
Third, we must not be ashamed of the Gospel.
Fourth, we must avoid godless things.
Fifth, those who confess that Jesus is their Lord must turn away from wickedness.
Sixth, we are instruments of God to do good work.
Seventh, the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, able to teach and should not be resentful.
As Paul reminded Timothy, may we follow the rules of God like an athlete who follow the rules in order not to be disqualified but to win.
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on