"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ..." - Philippians 1:27 (NIV)
"Whatever" has been a popular word, particularly among teens, for years. But did you know that this word is also found 173 times in Scripture? My personal favorite use of this word—and a use that has become important for my team—is in Philippians 1:27.
Here, Paul instructs us that “whatever” happens, we should conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Wow. That makes the over-used word "whatever" seem a lot more serious. Is Paul saying that even if my opponent tries to cheat me, I can't retaliate? What about if the ref misses a crucial call? What about when my coach doesn't play me when I've earned a spot? I think in each of these situations, “whatever” has no parameters—our behavior can't depend on circumstances, because circumstances in this life are rarely fair or simple.
As Christians, we are called to live at a high standard. Even when the world tells us we have a right to get even, God calls us to humbly submit to His higher purposes. In this, they will know we are His children. But look at the verse again and notice the phrase "in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." That’s quite a manner! I know that I fail at that every day. But that just means that every day, I need to remind myself of this command. People are watching, and I need to be living out Christ’s love toward everyone, no matter what, so that they can see Him in me.
The next time you think you have a good enough reason to retaliate on the field or on the court, just remember that there are NO excuses. "Whatever" covers everything.
- What are some of the challenges you face in your sport that tempt you to neglect your commitment to sportsmanship?
- How can you plan to react in a godly way?
- When you compete, what is your true goal?
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Colossians 3:23
- 1 Peter 4:10