Herb Brooks, coach of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team, had the difficult task of trying to get a group of college athletes to work together so that they could compete against professionals. The movie Miracle, which portrays their journey, shows ways in which the group has trouble putting their personal agendas aside for the team. During one of the grueling practices, coach Brooks repeatedly asks the question, “Who do you play for?” Each athlete names his personal college, and they run and run and run some more. Finally, one yells out, “I play for the United states of America!” And the running stops.
There will come a time when God will ask you, “Who do you play for?” What will you answer? Your team? Yourself? God? Who gets the glory?
- Name some professional athletes who know how to spread the glory around?
- What have you noticed about athletes who play for their own glory?
- How does it affect a team when athletes compete for themselves?
In John 5:44 Jesus asks a hard question: “How can you believe? While accepting glory from one another, you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God.” We all can get caught up in trying to earn the praise of others, but God says that as believers our praise and glory should be from Him and for Him only.
- What does it mean to seek glory from one another? In what ways do you do that?
- What’s the hardest part about playing for God’s glory?
- Name a time in which you felt like you played for God and God alone. How did that feel?
- Being totally honest write down who you’ve been playing for in your sport (coach, parents, self, scouts, etc.).
- How can you give God the glory this year?
- Create and write down your own mission statement as a Christian athlete.
“Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.” – Colossians 3:23