As we all know, unless you are living under a rock, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao won by TKO in the 10th round over Erik “El Terible” Morales. I even heard (I hope it is not true in MGC) that there are some churches whose attendance went down that day because their members opted to watch the boxing match. As I muse about the fight, I realized that there are some lessons we can glean from it.
Pride goes before destruction. That’s what the Bible said in Proverbs 16:18. My friend e-mailed me a news item which appeared before the fight. It quotes Morales boasting that if there’s one fighter who had hit him hard, real hard, it definitely was not Pacquiao. “Don't you remember being hit big by him,” Morales was asked by a Mexican reporter. “No, nada,” Morales coolly claimed. Well, we now know that Pacquiao was the first to make him kiss the canvas. But it’s the same with dealing with temptation: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Corinthians 10:12, NIV) Remember that we are in a fight ourselves. So, instead of being proud of our own feeble strength, let’s us depend on the Lord.
Prepare yourself. Pacquiao lost to Morales before. But that did not stop him. In fact, he trained hard for the rematch. He disciplined himself. And, in the words of sports analyst Recah Trinidad, he ended up “a far cry from the confused, overeager slugger who lost to Erik Morales in a bloody, dramatic showdown… He did a Muhammad Ali, aped Sugar Ray Leonard, and banged at his sparmate with ferocity reminiscent of Roberto Duran.” He knew victory will not come easy. That’s why he really trained hard. The Bible talks about disciplining ourselves: “train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:7-8) Is it our goal to be holy? Then we need to really work out our spiritual muscles! There is no short-cut to godliness.
Proclaim the good news. When Pacquiao won, people texted the news like crazy. People paid P300 just to watch it on the big screen via satellite in SM and Rockwell. The fight was last Sunday. But we kept on talking about it. What about the real good news? We have less than a week before the Metro Manila Franklin Graham Festival on February 2-5. Let us keep on inviting our family, relatives and friends. Keep on texting them. Bring them to the festival. Pray hard that they would open their hearts to God. Like Paul, let us say, “I am so eager to preach the gospel… I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:15-16).
Brethren, let us learn those lessons well.