Most people don’t figure out their purpose until adulthood. But for me, everything happened when I was four years old. That’s when I started playing hockey and that’s when I began to follow Jesus. Both of my passions kicked in right away. I’m still working on my game and I’m still working on my relationship with God, but because I discovered my passions at an early age, being bold in my pursuit of those things has come naturally for me. Most importantly, however, is my passion for Jesus. That passion gives me the strength to be totally unashamed of Christ. I never want to hide my love for him. Whether it’s something I say or how I act, I have to reflect Christ. I’m not going to be afraid to say something or be afraid of people criticizing me or putting me down for my faith.
One of my greatest inspirations of boldness is John the Baptist. He was not someone that the world considered special. He dressed strangely and ate strange food. He didn’t have any special gifting. He preached about God’s kingdom, boldly carrying out what his King had called Him to do. John the Baptist didn’t care what people said or what they thought. It didn’t matter how uncool it was, how undesirable it was, or how bad people hated him. He was even thrown in jail for what he said and later beheaded because of his boldness.
Another one of my Bible heroes is the Apostle Paul who wrote these words in his letter to the Romans: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile (1:16). But that kind of boldness can’t happen until you know who you are and you know your place in Christ. This world is hurt and it’s dying. We need voices in the wilderness right now. We need voices to step up and start proclaiming the gospel of Christ with the boldness of John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul did.
Stay strong. If your teammates or opponents hate you for your beliefs, it doesn’t matter. Persecution will come. Just rely on Christ. Have peace knowing that he’s with you. Christ is a hundred percent more important than hockey. He’s the only reason we live.
Check out FCA’s Hockey New Testament. It features ten college, professional and Olympic athletes including Rocco Grimaldi, Brian Rafalski, Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher. To order, visit FCAGear.com
- What are some things that keep you from being bold about your faith?
- How might the examples of Bible heroes such as John the Baptist and the Apostle Paul encourage you to take a bolder approach to your walk with Christ?
- What are some things you can do today in order to become bolder as a witness of what Jesus has done in your life?
2 Corinthians 3:12–18.