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"It matters a great deal who is going to win, but not at all who won"

Willie John McBride, Irish Rugby player

Mature in Christ

Christ is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we present everyone mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28

Paul has given a lot of advice and instructions in this chapter about how the Colossians are to live and put their faith into action. Then he sums it all up in one phrase, “mature in Christ”. That is the aim of his ministry of proclaiming Christ, warning against false teachings and behaviours and teaching the truth – to bring people to maturity in Christ. William Barclay points out that Christians are not equally gifted. Many will never be leaders, writers, teachers, preachers etc, that there are privileges and achievements that are beyond most of us. He continues: “but to every man is open the good news of gospel and the love of God in Christ”.

What does it mean to be mature in Christ? First of all it is a process. It takes time. Reading the Bible and prayer are keys. It takes effort. I remember watching a friend win a medal in the Olympics. How many hours had she spent in the gym and on the water over the past 10 years to reach Olympic stardard? I have heard Jonathan Edwards say that he first triple-jumped when he was about 13 and 15 years later he broke the world record. Athletes understand this. You also need to be disciplined in your Christian life, taking time to read the Bible and then taking account of what it says. Christian maturity is about being more like Jesus.

My longing in the work that I do is to see more athletes mature in Christ, representing him in the world of sport.

In preparing this I found two useful references on what being mature in Christ means in practice.

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