“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2Timothy 4:7)
Lynden High School, where our son Brian teaches and coaches, lost the Washington State football championship title game yesterday in a hard-fought battle. (Their opponent, Hockinson was 26-0 over the past two years.)
I sent Brian a text to commiserate and received a typically laconic reply: "Kids battled."
No blame: “You missed the extra point that would have won the game!" "You failed to block the guy that deflected the PAT!" Just praise for the things that could be praised.
We'll never hear harsh words of condemnation from our Lord if we have hidden ourselves in him. When he comes and we stand before him he will not point to our win and loss column, nor will he analyze and criticize our performance. I think he will say something like, "You battled! You fought the good fight.”
Life is a relentless struggle with a fierce, unyielding foe, devoted to our destruction. There'll be a few good wins, and some heart-breaking losses—God knows—but when we stand before him in the merits of his Son there'll be no recrimination or blame. We will each "receive his praise" (1Corinthians 4:5).