Success is determined through a process of standards and measurements. In the world of sports, speed and strength are two important measurements. At the NFL combine, athletes go through a rigorous examination of their physical skills and abilities based on the criteria below:
- 40 SPEED: 40-yard dash time.
- 3-CONE: 3-cone drill time.
- SHUTTLE: 20-yard shuttle time.
- VERTICAL: Vertical jump – measured by the differential between a player’s reach and the marked flag.
- BROAD: Broad jump distance.
- BENCH: Bench press – measured by the number of times a player bench presses 225pds.
A sports analogy was on Paul’s mind when he wrote of athletes who disciplined their bodies in preparation for the Isthmian Games. Paul said, “Everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away (I Corinthians 9:25).”
Like the athletes of today, the aspiring athletes of Corinth lived a disciplined life in preparation for the sporting events. They realized that the exemplary life of an athlete is the result of an examined life.
Standards and measurements should be as important to the Christian as they are to the athlete. Paul said:
Examine yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it (2 Corinthians 13:35).”
The unexamined life is a nefarious life, and it can make for precarious habits. Benjamin Franklin eschewed sloppy living, so he measured his life by asking himself two questions each day:
- The Morning Question: What Good shall I do this Day?
- The Evening Question: What Good have I done today?
Franklin believed these two questions are the key to an examined life that is as efficient as it is beneficent. I encourage you to use these questions to measure your life through the remainder of this year.