ODB: Well Done!

The school where my son Brian coaches football lost the state title game in a hard-fought battle. Their opponent was undefeated over the past two years. I sent Brian a text to commiserate with him and received a terse reply: “Kids battled!”

No coach shamed the players after the game. No one shouted at them for their mishaps or bad decisions along the way. No, the coaches showered the young players with praise for what could be praised.

Along the same vein, it’s good to know that believers in Jesus will not hear harsh words of condemnation from Him. When Christ comes and we stand before Him, He won’t shame us. He’ll see what we’ve done as we’ve followed Him (2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8). I think He’ll say something like, “You battled! Well done!” The apostle Paul testified that he had “fought the good fight” and looked forward to being welcomed by God (2 Timothy 4:7–8).

Life is a relentless struggle with a fierce, unyielding foe devoted to our destruction. He will resist every effort we make to be like Jesus and to love others. There’ll be a few good wins and some heartbreaking losses—God knows—but there will be no eternal condemnation for those in Jesus (Romans 8:1). If we stand before Him in the merits of God’s Son, each one will “receive [his] praise” from God (1 Corinthians 4:5).

— David H. Roper