Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
We profess Christ. We work in professions. To succeed, we must be professional. If we perform with anything less, we'll be forgotten or fired. Because professing requires professionalism. Meaning?
A. Professing Christ is one thing: 'I'm a Christian.' Among most circles in America, it's a politically correct statement. The 114th United States Congress is 92% Christian.** Or so they say. But acting like Christ is the main thing. If we say one thing and do another, God calls us hypocrites.***
B. Saying you're a performer is one thing: 'I'm an actor, model, singer or dancer.' Fame is the #1 goal among children today.**** Considering media, any wonder? But in a field with extraordinary competition, proving it is the main thing. If we're not professional, we'll be sifted instead of lifted.
Paul was professional in every regard: He was well-educated and hard-working. He never got lazy or proud, and he never settled down. Paul practiced, prayed and pushed into a greater and greater knowledge of Christ: how to witness Him most effectively in every situation. He performed each role with extraordinary finesse.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: you are called to a double degree of professionalism.
In your Christian education, you need a master's degree. I'm not talking about advanced training in seminary studies. I'm talking about advanced behavior in Jesus studies: To walk as He walked, as His early disciples walked. Because you are His latter disciples.
Between then and now, so-called Christians have made too many mistakes for anyone but God to count, and I hope He chooses to forget them. Even so, let's end well. The finale approaches.
In your entertainment education, you need a master's degree, too. Time is short. If you've gotten a lot of talent training, good. Keep it up. But if you haven't, get it now. Ask God to super-charge your learning curve and multiply your efforts. He has a history of increasing sincere saints.
As Christians with God's talents, we've buried them in churchyards for too many years. But that's old news and you're new news. So uncover God's talents. Rise, shine and invest them in such a world as this for such a time as now.
## Passionate! Like Paul: Professionalism (Part 21)
* Many Chapters and Verses in the Epistles of Paul teach us how to 'act' like Christ, including:
Colossians 3: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians%203&version=NASB;
Philippians 2: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+2&version=NASB;
Ephesians 4: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph+4&version=NASB
** Washington Post, 1/1/15: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/05/the-new-congress-is-80-percent-white-80-percent-male-and-92-percent-christian/
*** Matthew Chapter 23: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+23&version=NKJV
**** Kids just want to be famous: http://guardianlv.com/2013/08/studies-show-that-children-just-want-to-be-famous/
NOTE: This series is a republished edit of a 2015 series called, 'Paul's Powerful Priorities.' In these devotions, you may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' I have not changed this designation. Because in a greater sense, every disciple of Christ acts for Christ, models Christ and stewards His talents, from which God expects a profit.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Passionate! Like Paul series.