Cut it Off
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
- Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
In any sport, we as athletes are susceptible to adopting a number of bad habits that can hinder us from becoming the best athletes we can be. Whether it is a sloppy technique or poor reads, any bad habit prevents us from becoming the “perfect” athlete that each of us strives to become.
Just as bad habits plague our athletic performance, sin hinders us in our spiritual performance; or, better stated, it hinders our relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul recognizes this in Romans 3:23 when he writes that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are all forced to face temptations, and no matter how many times we pass or fail, we are still “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).
How do we rid ourselves of these “bad habits”? In Mark 9, Jesus tells us that we must cut off the causes of our sin in order to build a stronger relationship with Him: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off,” and “if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.” But when our minds are the sources of our sins, how do we cut it off? In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds—to create minds that don’t conform to the patterns of sin in this world, but to the patterns laid out by our Savior. Minds that accept the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus says “will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:14).
In curing bad habits in our respective sports, we as athletes should dislike our bad habits as much as our coaches dislike them in an effort to improve our skills. We as Christians shouldn’t just be sorry for our bad habits, but should ultimately hate the sin that plagues our lives—a plague that is lifted from us as we repent of our sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
Jesus is the only Way, so let’s listen to Him!
1. What are some bad habits (on and off the field/court/etc.) that you need to stop?
2. What are some strategies in overcome these habits?
3. How can you apply the Word of God to these habits?
1 John 1:9