Have you ever believed something to be true when it wasn’t?
When my oldest daughter was in sixth grade, she played in her first organized school basketball game with her dad as the coach. All ten girls traveled around the court like an amoeba with a player occasionally emerging from the crowd with the ball. Then it happened, my daughter broke free from the mass of players and shot the rock with perfect form. It banked off the glass into the basket, scoring the first bucket of her career. Elated, she repeatedly jumped for joy, celebrating her accomplishment as if she had won the NCAA Final Four.
There was just one problem. She had scored at the other team’s basket. After a teammate pointed out her dilemma, her joy turned into tears of embarrassment. I substituted her out of the game, pulled her close to me, and told her, “Now you know what it’s like to score, so go out and shoot at the right basket.”
The Apostle Paul taught that accomplishments become embarrassments when we shoot at the wrong goal: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Joy comes from believing in Christ, fully surrendering our lives to Him and discovering forgiveness from the penalty of sin and freedom from the power of sin. However, if we think that we can earn our way to this salvation by keeping the law, we will be embarrassed at judgment.
Are you shooting at the wrong goal? Forget, strain, and press on. Forget what is behind. Strain toward what is ahead. Press on toward the goal of the development of Christ in you.