Steady Steps (Gymnastics)

Medal Rounds: August 8-9 (Team); August 10-11 (Individual All-Around); August 14-16 (Individual Events)

Get Out and Play!

2-by-4-inch board, 6 to 10 feet in length

1. Set the board on a level patch of grass.
2. In the first round, each contestant walks across the beam, then walks backward to the starting point. Anyone who steps on the grass is out.
3. Add a new trick with each round—hop 3 times on one foot, jump straight up, balance on one hand and one foot, etc.

A Champion’s Heart

Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds, bind them as a sign on your hands, and let them be a symbol on your foreheads. —Deuteronomy 11:18

When you’re doing handstands and backflips on a 4-inch beam, the slightest imbalance can send you to the floor. A gymnast doesn’t just keep her feet balanced; every muscle in her body must be in position to carry her from one move to the next.

Sometimes we try to blame sin on our body parts, as if they had a mind of their own:
• Your eyes happened to watch a show you shouldn’t.
• Your stomach wanted too much ice cream.
• Your feet “accidentally” tripped your little brother.

People did the same thing in Jesus’ time. There were lots of rules about unintentional sins and how to atone for them. But Jesus recognized that certain folks were exploiting these rules; they would sin, and then pretend it was no big deal. That’s why He said, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matthew 5:30).

Jesus doesn’t want you to literally cut off your hand. But when it comes to sin, we need to stop making excuses. The same brain controls the entire body, and we need to hold ourselves accountable for everything we do. Otherwise, it’s the little sins that will make you fall.

Click here for more Family Summer Games!

Copyright © 2016 by Focus on the Family. Photo © Raphael Goetter/; used under Creative Commons License.