What Compels Us?
“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”
-2 Corinthians 5:14-15
As a sophomore in junior college, playing baseball was the primary way I found value in life. However, when it turned out that I wasn’t cutting it on the baseball field, my coach told me to consider trying football. He’d often said that “we reap what we sow” during his talks about how Jesus Christ could impact our lives and even our baseball careers. Personally, my motivation had always been self-centered and about me. But I was now facing the end of something I had depended on since childhood to get the affirmation I craved. The Holy Spirit had been calling me, though, and later that day, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Through Him, I found a greater purpose for life, and as God turned my heart toward pleasing Him, I found something greater to motivate me not only in life but in athletics. With my life and game transformed, I ended the season with a scholarship from the University of Texas in Austin. It was there that I made Christian friends through FCA and began to grow spiritually and learn about the love of God. Before, I had been motivated by my selfish desires for attention and the favor of others. Now I knew the love of God and began to be “compelled” by His awesome and indescribable love.
I’ve known many people both in and out of sports whose driving forces in life are greed, fame and empty pride. Those, unfortunately all lead to an empty life. We don’t always win in life, and the world seems to only love us when we are on top of our game. Then they are ready to either forget us or condemn us when we stumble. But God’s love is different…He loves us “even while we are sinners” (Romans 5:8) and He loves us “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 3:31)!
What compels you in your life? Are the cheers of the crowd the only compelling reasons you play the game? Or, is the pure, everlasting and incredible love of God going to be the wind that fills your sails? My prayer for my children and all who read this is that we would come to know how great God’s love is for us and that He desires only good things for us regardless of our performance. The freedom we have in Him allows us to move forward in spite of our failures when we are compelled by the love of our Father in heaven.
1. What compels you to be who you are and do what you do?
2. What compels you play your sport?
3. Can a deeper understanding of God's love help transform the reasons for your actions?
4. Is your motivation rooted in God's love for you and your love for Him and others?