It may surprise you to learn that a spectator in the stands faces more risk than the player on the field! As a matter of fact, the weakest among us can participate in athletics, but only the strongest will survive as a spectator. According to a heart specialist, when you become a sports spectator rather than a participant, the wrong things go up and the wrong things come down. Body weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and triglycerides go up. Vital capacity, oxygen consumption, flexibility, stamina, and strength go down. Wow!
Being an onlooker in the arena of Christian living is also risky. The wrong things go up and the wrong things come down. Criticism, discouragement, disillusionment and boredom go up if you are a mere spectator. Sensitivity to sin and human need, and receptivity to the Word of God go down. Sure, there’s a certain amount of thrill and excitement in hearing someone’s life story about how God has worked, but it’s nothing like knowing that joy yourself. There is no substitute for cutting out your own path of peace, piling up your own experiences of faith and using your own God-given abilities on behalf of others. What we’re saying is: it is better to be in the arena of activity than it is to be a spectator in the stands!
Don’t settle merely watching fellow believers perform for the Lord. Nothing beats getting in there and being active yourself. If you are to be an effective and useful Christian, you must venture out in faith. And there is risk involved – that’s for sure. But, remember, you’re taking a greater risk in being only a spectator. “Therefore let us also, seeing we compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). God called us to get into the game – not just to keep score.