Jackie's Journey "What's the Prize?"


“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run,

but one receives the prize?” I Cor. 9: 24


Are you the proverbial “Soccer Mom?”  Maybe it’s baseball…tennis…?

Monday nights are game nights on T.V in many homes across America. We put our children in team sports almost before they can walk, let alone kick a soccer ball!  We hear the competitive nature of the game as parents stand and shout encouragement at players and periodically yell at the officials.   The philosophy of how a game should be played is wrapped up in the words “the most important thing is winning, not how you played the game!”

Whether it’s sports, academics, the best school, the best clothes,

or the best… whatever…

it’s important that our children catch God’s perspective, not the worlds.


…makes time

says, “Let’s find out”


says, “If it is to be, it’s up to me”

…is not afraid of losing.

          …wants to, not ...has to.

…is part of the solution.

          …does it.

…makes commitments.

…works harder than a loser.

     …learns from others.

…says, “I’ll plan to do that.”

…says, I’m good, but not as good as I

                               can be.”

                                       … listens.

…catches people doing things right.

   …says, “I was wrong.”

 ….says, “There ought to be a better


…sees opportunities.

…celebrates with others.

…feels responsible for more than her


…translates dreams into reality.

…expects success.


…wastes time.

…says, “Nobody knows.”


…says, I can’t help it.”

…is afraid of winning.

…has to, not...want to.

…is part of the problem.

…talks about it.

…makes promises.

…is always “too busy”.

…resents others.

…says, “I’ll try to do that.”

…says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other


…just waits until it’s his turn to talk.

…catches people doing things wrong.

…says, “It wasn’t MY fault.”

…says, “That’s the way it’s always

                been done.”

…sees problems.

…complains about others.

…says, “I only work here.”

…translates reality into dreams.

…expects failure.

(Family Circle – Words to Live By 1997)

Sacrificing whatever it takes to win… your example,  your integrity, compliance with a coach who says “trip the kid in front of you”…breaking the rules…whatever it takes.  Winning is the objective.  “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” I Tim.4: 8 

Teaching our children the true definition of winning is often by-passed on the altar of “me first winners!  Losing is not an option.

Don’t misunderstand me.  Team sports are a part of our American heritage.  Just don’t miss the importance of genuine winning found in an eternal goal…   “…Straining toward what is ahead. Pressing toward the goal to win the prize…” Phil.3:13

What prize?

How do you define winning?

Are you a winner?  Or are your goals temporal?

What do your children see you seeking?

“A man’s steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?” 

Pro. 20:24  

God has a plan for our success.  It stretches beyond our view.

How can we think apart from His purpose??

God has called us “heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things (our view should include an eternal perspective)  And if, on some point you think differently, that too, God will make clear to you.” Phil. 3:14   Competitive sports show us the importance of setting a goal and straining to reach it!  Binding ourselves to His plan (spending eternity with Him) and continually pushing forward toward Christ for His equipping us, as wives, mothers, parents, teachers and examples make us winners.  His empowerment is the prize. 

We are not programmed to get the job done apart from Him.

Do your children have this view?

For when the One Great Scorer comes,

To write against your name,

He writes not that you lost or won,

But how you played the game.


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~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America.  Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California.  My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.