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Talent vs. Commitment

"And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things..." (1 Corinthians 9:25)

In 2008, the world watched in amazement as Michael Phelps made Olympic history. One of the most talented swimmers of all time, Phelps won 8 medals just like he'd done 4 years earlier. But this time, they were all gold.

Michael Phelps wasn't just talented; he was unbelievably committed to his sport. His weekly routine consisted of 6 hours of training, 6 days a week -- swimming a grand total of nearly 50 miles during that time. He also followed a specialized 12,000 calorie diet, slept 8 hours each day, and took a 2-3 hour afternoon nap. All those gold medals weren't the inevitable result of natural talent; they were the fruit of unwavering discipline and relentless effort.

Like swimming, memorizing Scripture requires commitment. Those who succeed at it usually don't possess an extraordinary memory, but an extraordinary commitment -- a commitment to filling their fallible memories with the infallible words of God.

As Paul observed, "Everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things." For Olympic swimmers, this looks like a rigorous diet and exercise routine. For us, it looks like purposefully making God's Word the object of our mind's attention and our heart's devotion. We do this not "to obtain a perishable crown," but for the spiritual and life-changing benefits promised to those who delight in God's Word (1 Cor. 9:25; Psa. 1).

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