Respect for Opponents
We all know we’re supposed to respect our coaches, our teammates and ourselves, but we sometimes forget that we must also respect our opponents. A healthy respect for our opponents’ abilities and how hard they’ve worked allows us to perform at our highest potential.
Respecting others in the arena of sports shows a humility and love that only comes from a relationship with Jesus and our desire to be more like Him.
- Do you struggle to respect your opponents? Why?
- Have you ever felt or been disrespected by another team or athlete? How did it make you feel?
- How does respect reflect Christ-like humility and love?
First Peter 2:17 (NIV) says, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” In respecting everyone we not only show a love for others but also a healthy fear of God. What do you think it takes to be able to respect everyone?
- Before you can respect your opponents, you must respect yourselves. How can you develop mutual respect among everyone on your team?
- How will that help your team compete at its highest level?
- What does it look like to show a healthy respect for your opponents as a team? Individually?
Respect for our opponents should drive us to practice and compete hard. If we don’t respect other teams and their abilities we won’t prepare for the competition. We’ll likely wind up underperforming and losing games we ought to win.
In the end, respect starts with love. When we love something or someone because God created them we’ll naturally show them respect. And that kind of attitude will glorify Christ better than any on-field athletic performance ever could.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” – Romans 12:10 (NIV)