Saturday, March 3, 2007

Christian Pentathlon


Back to the Doug Sherman article.

If the ladder approach has limited value, what is a biblical approach to balancing the important areas of our lives?...

The pentathlon requires the athlete to be proficient in five areas: pistol shooting, epee fencing, horseback riding, swimming, and running. It involves a wide range of skills and knowledge and requires a thoughtful strategy for training. The athlete's training time must be carefully divided among the events, although some events will take longer than others to train for. The goal is to do well in all areas to win the prize.

The Christian life is similar to the pentathlon. As I have studied the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, and his epistles, it seems that he identified five important areas of the Christian life: work, family, personal life, church, and community. There are many passages in the epistles and throughout the New Testament that speak about those areas....

Given the range of responsibilities we have and the limited time in a day, tradeoffs are necessary. Nevertheless, the goal of the believer is to improve in and be more Christlike in each area.

Although the pentathlon analogy is limited and imperfect, we can gain new perspective by viewing the Christian life in this way....

Living in a society that puts a premium on career achievement tempts us to give little thought to pleasing the Lord with our nonwork responsibilities. However, it may take just as much thought and planning to have a good marriage as it does to have a good career. It may take as much thought and prayer to develop a love for Christ as it does to map out your next job choice.

The pentathlon approach encourages us to inventory all areas of life so that we don't overtrain one area to the detriment of another. For example, if I am too busy at church to be a godly parent, maybe the solution is to give up my position on the XYZ committee.


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