Chasing Crowns


The year was 1986. It was July. I was 10. My family and I were on vacation in Miami staying at the Fontainebleau Hotel. It was hot and humid, but the ocean water was so warm. During our stay, the hotel was hosting a national beauty pageant for preteens. Girls from all across the country were strolling about the hotel, dressed in fancy dresses, and decked out in make-up with their hair meticulously styled. To be honest, there was a piece of me that wanted to be one of them. They looked so beautiful and glamorous. But, the rest of me couldn’t imagine missing out on that warm ocean water and spectacular pool. The girls were constantly in competition mode. They were never able to just act like kids for fear that one of the judges would be sharing an elevator with them or watching them in the hotel lobby. Why would these girls put themselves through all this? Simple – they were chasing after a crown.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

To some, beauty pageants seem ridiculous. Who would undergo all that work for a silly piece of metal adorned with some crystals? Although, I must confess, I do love the bling. But, it is more than that. The crown represents something bigger. A crown signifies importance and significance. A crown sets you apart from the rest and deems you special.

We all want to feel important and significant. And we all want to feel special. We may not be chasing literal crowns, but if we were truthful, we would confess that we all chase after our own version of this. We set goals before us desperately searching for validation and honor. We all want to be set apart.

Ladies, we need to keep our eyes on a bigger crown – a crown that will not fade away. A crown that is given to those who faithfully run the race, who turn away from every selfish desire, and who help bring people to Christ Jesus. This is a crown that is definitely worth chasing after.

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8


Say Something

Have you ever been in the midst of a pleasant conversation when all of sudden the mood changes? Maybe the women around you start gossiping about another woman or a family in town. Or maybe they suggest pulling one over on Uncle Sam because who’s going to know anyway. Or perhaps, the conversation switches to a topic that you know God would definitely not approve of. I hate those moments. I get a knot deep in my stomach. What do I do? I have a few options. I can join in and rationalize my participation. I can sit quietly and pray the conversation changes quickly. Or, I can say something because my silence means I condone or agree with what is being said.

But, to be completely honest, sometimes I just don’t want to say anything. I know what they are going to think – goody two shoes is at it again. And then I hear the Holy Spirit tug inside of me:

Are you just going to sit there or are you going to say something?

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. He brings conviction when I need it most. When we recognize sin and remain silent, we are no better than the person doing it. In fact, God will hold us more accountable because we know better.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” – James 4:17

But frankly, people don’t like to be told that what they are doing is wrong, even if it is done in love. And yes, it has to be done in love. If you enjoy bringing correction, then it is not done in the right spirit. Our purpose is solely to point people to Christ.

Please understand, I’m not suggesting that I have it all together and never mess up. That’s crazy! And I so appreciate the people in my life who keep me in check. What I am saying is that God has called us to stand up and defend Him, even if you are the only voice in the crowd.

Ladies, I have news for you. Taking a stand for Jesus and defending Him can be a lonely place. A place where offenses develop and friendships can be lost, possibly forever. Jesus, more than anyone, understands those feelings of loneliness and isolation. He experienced them first hand when he walked the earth.

But take courage. There is a special inheritance waiting for those who don’t compromise and take a stand for Him. You may feel all alone at times, but He is always with you.

“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:10