I married into a show pig family nearly 20 years ago not having any clue about such things. 3 years ago my son was old enough to show a pig at the local and county show. Now my daughter is old enough and they both are showing pigs. I recently took them to a show, and have more coming soon, and realized that the show is a product of many hours and days of work. Most people will only see them for a few minutes and the judge in the ring will make a decision based on what he sees.
What he sees from a show pig and its exhibitor is the product of the work that is unseen. The feeding and watering, the brushing and washing, the pen cleaning and the walking/training take weeks. All of that preparation for a 10 minute walk in a ring for a judge to make a decision.
Your life is very similar.
Every decision, every response, and all behavior is a showing of what type of preparation you have done. Your life is being judged by those around you. Living out the Gospel is not only about witnessing but about being a witness each day. When Israel decided to lack integrity in her behavior and decisions on “non-temple” days but showed up at temple regularly God responded negatively.
What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
The proper preparation and training coupled with the right nutrition and exercise will not be judged poorly. A steady diet of God’s Word AND the practice of doing God’s Word every day raises your life integrity. As you place yourself in community with other believers in a local church you receive training, fellowship, and support. In this way, you begin to live a life of integrity as your spiritual, vocational, recreational, civil, and familial relationships see the same person who acts in the same manner in every situation.
Whether it be show pigs or your life, your performance in the ring of life is a direct reflection of what happens behind the scenes. Eat right. Stay clean. Exercise your faith. Go win a championship.