I recently heard the quote, “Failure has more to do with lack of determination than lack of talent.” I don’t know who said it, but I agree with it.
As competitors, we all know that talent is a great advantage. But talent isn’t enough. There has to be an inner drive, will and passion behind it. Distance runners, triathletes and other endurance athletes practice the critical techniques of their sports, but they know they won’t finish their races without endurance itself, which is more than just a physical ability. At its essence is commitment—sometimes referred to as being “all in.”
If you were putting together a team how would you decide who to choose for your roster? Perhaps the strongest, fastest or most intelligent? Maybe. But take a look at 1 Cor. 1:27, which says, “Instead, God has chosen what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
Those closest to Jesus were probably considered average at best. So how did they end up on Jesus’ team? The answer can be found in Acts, one of my favorite books of the Bible. This book shows us the amazing things God can do with people who are “all in.” With complete commitment to the Lord, these men had all their needs met. They had thriving ministries, and their opposition had great difficulty trying to stop them. Acts 4:13 sums it up this way: “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
So many people today focus on what they don’t have instead of what they do have. They may not be the most naturally talented, so they resign themselves to substandard positions and refuse to attempt anything challenging. On the other hand there are people who focus their attention on God and offer Him their lives whether they are the best at something or not. They ask Him to guide and equip them and give it everything they have, believing He will make up the difference. These men and women are joyful in every aspect of their journeys and understand that favor, promotion and blessing come from God. And their attitudes give Him plenty to work with.
If we want to start seeing Acts-like results in our lives, we need to start behaving like the people who lived it. They weren’t the most naturally talented, but they were all in. And that’s something we can apply to our lives on the field and off.
- Are you complimented more for your talent or your character?
- In what areas of your life do you feel called but unqualified? Do you let that stop you from pursuing what you believe God wants you to do?
- What areas of your sport and your life require endurance?
- How can you develop more endurance?
- Psalm 127:1
- Proverbs 16:9
- Galatians 6:9