Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Power of Advantage

One of the golfers on the pro tour some years ago was a pompous egomaniac with the emotional maturity of a six-year-old. He could do nothing wrong and always had a quick excuse for any loss: it was a lousy course, the other golfers were cheating, the weather was terrible, etc. As if these faults were not enough, he was also not above hustling a few extra dollars playing amateurs in cities on the tour for $50 a hole.

One day he was approached by a man wearing dark glasses and carrying a white cane who offered to play him for $100 a hole. "Why, I can't play you," the professional protested. "You're blind, aren't you?" "Yes, I am," replied the man. "But that's all right. I was a state champion before I went blind. I think I can beat you." Now the conceited one had not been doing well lately--he needed the money. Anyway, blind or not, if the guy was crazy enough to challenge him...well, why not? "You did say $100 a hole?"

The blind man nodded. The arrogant fellow continued, "Well, all right. It's a deal. But don't say I didn't warn you--you'll lose your money. When would you like to play?" "Any night at all," replied the blind man. "Any night at all."

1 Corinthians 10:24 says very plainly, "Let no one seek his own advantage, but that of the other." Another verson of this same verse reads, "Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor." Throughout the Bible there are warnings against taking advantage of the weak. God warned the Israelites about taking advantage of the widow and fatherless child (Ex. 22:22-23). Paul repreatedly reminded those he preached to that he had the opportunity but refrained from exercising his advantage. Solomon stated that in time the laborer has really gained no advantage in all his doings, since everything is vanity (Eccl. 3:9).

The world we live in is so different than the abode of God. People on earth push, step on, and remove other people to get to the top. But God is just the opposite. Jesus gave up every heavenly advantage for humanity. He taught the apostles about the difference between Gentile lordship and servant leadership. He paved the way to life eternal by helping the helpless, when He had every right to destroy the wicked.

The true power that exists in advantage, is not what you can do for yourself. It is found in what can be accomplished when you lay it aside.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich." ~~ 2 Corinthians 8:9

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