For Whom Do You Play?
Some competitors are rather transparent about what motivates them in sport. It’s easy to tell that the guy who is pounding his chest and pointing at the name on the back of his jersey is playing for himself. Others are a little more obscure as they make a play and point to the sky. But, Christian athletes declare their allegiance more authentically by the Christ-like character displayed as they compete.
- What are some indicators of your teammates’ motivation for playing?
- Which of these actions make it clear for whom we compete?
- Pointing to the sky after a big play
- Kneeling in the end zone after scoring
- Pointing to the school’s or club’s name on the uniform
- Displaying God-honoring character to coaches, teammates, opponents and officials
- Congratulating a teammate for excellent play
Colossians 3:23-24 provides instruction on the best way to express for whom we compete. “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.”
What does it look like for us to compete enthusiastically, as for the Lord Jesus?
- How would competing for Christ lead to greater enthusiasm than playing for people?
- Do we compete for Christ to win His favor, or do we compete because we already have His favor?
- What does it look like when we competing for the attention or approval of people?
- How can you keep your focus on competing for Christ?
In a world that is “me” centered, it is important as Christian athletes that our coaches, teammates and fans recognize the motivation for our competition. Is it obvious to your teammates for whom you compete? How can you make it clear you play for Christ?
Memory verse: “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:5