For the masterpiece of your life to truly unveil, it will require the disciplined striving of an athlete and the detailed touch of an artist.
In Acts 24:16 the Apostle Paul declared, “I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.” The phrase “take pains” comes from a Greek origin that means 1) to adorn as an artist, and 2) to exercise or strive as an athlete.
The Christian life requires the merging of both definitions.
You’re not just an athlete—the Christian life requires more than the rigorous pursuit of a workout regimen. And you’re not just an artist—you need something more than the creative expressions of your gifts, talents, calling, and personality.
Athletic artists. Artistic athletes. Right foot; left foot. Athlete-artist. Artist-athlete.
Athletes without art are mere machines. Artists without athletic discipline are too unstructured. Our challenge is to hold these opposites in tension, while recognizing that they’re not really opposites—they are flipsides of the same coin.
In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul urges us to an Olympic caliber of effort and self-discipline, and in Ephesians 2 he said we are “God’s workmanship” literally translated, “the poem that God is writing.”
Whether you naturally gravitate toward athlete or artist, consider merging their distinctives into one unified life.
John Wooden famously said we should, “Make every day our masterpiece.” However, that doesn’t happen through competition alone. And nor does it happen by simply giving vent to our more artistic side.
The Christian life requires us to be both athlete and artist, artist and athlete, thus creating a life that strengthens others and glorifies God.