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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost


December 31, 2013 - Trophies

By Jerry D. Scott

The dictionary defines a trophy as "anything serving as evidence of a victory, valor, or skill." Some years ago I won a trophy, at least sort of, at the Pinewood Derby sponsored by our church's boys group. Using a kit purchased from them, I made a small car to race down a long track. They awarded me the prize for "slowest car." I kid you not! It was a moment of glory that won't be eternally remembered.

I have another trophy, a copy of a national magazine, issue date in the early 1990s, when an editor first took note of my words and published an article I had written. I remember the pride I felt on receiving an advance copy, opening to that page, and seeing the title and my name printed under it. The pages of that magazine are starting to yellow and the excitement over being published has long since faded.

John Ortberg writes about the fleeting nature of earthly success and the speed with which our trophies become insignificant: "God has a wonderful sense of humor and often sends people to help us remember that 'being enough' is His department. No trophies can confer that status. A few years ago I spoke in a conference in Germany and afterward was asked to sign some books. A woman handed me a German translation of one of my books and said in thickly accented English, 'Danka. This is the best book I ever read.' Germans aren't famous for their sense of humor, but I thought she might be pulling my leg. 'No kidding?' I asked her. 'Yah,' she said, by way of ruthless explanation, 'I don't read much.'" (It All Goes Back in the Box, Zondervan, 2007)

What trophies are you reaching for? What serves as evidence of victory for you? More money? Status in your community? Your kids' achievements? Grades, degrees, certificates?

Awards and recognition are wonderful. We need to commend those who show skill, who achieve proficiency. But we are best adjusted when the award is secondary in our order of importance. A real scholar loves learning more than the degree that comes with education. A true athlete loves the game even more than the championship ring that comes with the win. A genuine believer loves to serve the Lord and others more than the appreciation that comes to faithful servants!

Trophies quickly lose their luster. This year's magna cum laude graduate is replaced by the scholar in the next class! Those who set world records in the most recent Olympic Games will see them replaced by other athletes in future contests.

There is a trophy that lasts! The commendation of God for a life of love never loses its value.

The Word says, "Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing" (1 Corinthians 9:24-26, NLT). "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away" (1 Peter 5:4, NIV).

Jesus said, "Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys" (Luke 12:33). He wasn't just talking about giving a generous donation to the church. He was talking about investing our time, our affection — all of our resources — in those things that are of eternal value.

I pray that the trophy case in my life isn't just full of fading trinkets of past glory. May God help me to live in a way that connects today with eternity.

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Faith Discovery Church (Assemblies of God) in Washington, N.J.




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