More Than a Survivor

Yours truly with Sunday
One of the most popular programs on TV is CBS’s “Survivor.” This reality show features a group of contestants marooned in an isolated location where they must provide for themselves and compete in challenges to avoid elimination. Derived from a Swedish series called “Expedition Robinson”, the U .S. version of “Survivor” debuted in 2000 and quickly became a ratings success. Until recently I never watched an entire episode but now have a passing interest in it. 

Sunday Burgquest and her husband Jeff oversee the Family Support Ministry at Living Word Christian Center, the church I attend when in the Minneapolis area. Sunday is currently one of eight surviving contestants for Season 33 of “Survivor.” This past Wednesday a group of us gathered in the fellowship hall to watch the latest episode. The sound was turned down during commercial breaks so Sunday and Jeff could share behind-the-scenes stuff. They were cautious not to reveal information that could disqualify Sunday from eventually winning the top prize of $1 million. 

In the meantime, Sunday is using her newfound fame by selling “Survivor” T-shirts to raise money for an upcoming youth missions trip to Mexico. This reminded me of another minister I know who appeared on a popular reality program. In 2010 Dave Vaughan from Wales was the runner-up on the U. K.’s “Big Brother.” Dave shared with me how the experience gave him more ministry opportunities. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

Unlike most games where only one person becomes a “sole survivor”, everyone can be “more than conquerors” in Christ (Romans 8:37). In the spiritual realm, man has a common enemy named Satan. Living a victorious Christian life involves walking in love and sometimes doing things that won’t make sense to nonbelievers. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Christians don’t need to sing the old Gloria Gaynor song “I Will Survive.” God wants us more than just merely existing. We can put on His armor and be the overcomers He destined us to be.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” - 1 John 5:4-5

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