‘Pep is a genius but he got it wrong tonight’
Those words, taken from the BBC News website, are the comments of a respondent to the report on the Champions League football final that Manchester City lost to Chelsea. After a long and arduous campaign, the final was lost, and the prize missed. When asked about the loss, the manager insisted that he had done his best, but the pundits questioned his team selection and tactics.
Of course, it is easy for those who are mere pundits to criticise. Having won the English Premier League, and other trophies along the way, fans and observers were expecting more from Pep Guardiola. Surely, it was suggested before the game, this was his moment.
All of this made me think. What about our lives? Do we think we have ‘got the tactics right’? Do we think that our lives will match up with God’s expectations and we will make it home to heaven by our own efforts and endeavours? After all, the saying goes, I did my best.
The Bible verse that came to my mind was, ‘There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death’.[i] How sad it would be to get to life’s end and find that we got it wrong! From the respondent above, it is possible to be a genius and get it wrong – we all make mistakes. The tragedy would be to make a mistake when it comes to our eternal destiny.
The Bible states that we should not rely upon ourselves because we are all fundamentally flawed – sinners.[ii] However, ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’.[iii] If we are prepared to believe that when Jesus died on a Roman cross He was bearing the punishment for our sin, we can know forgiveness and we can be saved – fitted for heaven. The Bible says, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved’.[iv]
The ‘prize’ of heaven waits. What are your tactics?