Change Your Mind
As my foot touched the line for what seemed like the 1,000th time that practice my mind sank into a deep misery. “Why are we doing this?” I thought. “My legs feel like rocks! This is torture!” Whether you’re an athlete who knows this battle or a coach who knows how frustrating it can be to motivate your players, I think we’ve all forgotten the “why” at times when enduring the hardships of athletics.
The book of the Bible we call Colossians is actually a letter Paul wrote to a church in Colosse that was facing a hardship of its own. False teachers were persuading citizens that they still had to observe ceremonial Jewish laws to experience God’s fullness. As a result, the people were forgetting the “why” regarding their faith in Christ. Paul spent a majority of his letter reminding them that “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). He shared that they had already been “made alive together with Him” (Colossians 2:13) and were “filled by Him” (Colossians 2:10). Paul summarized these and other truths in verse 3:12 by stating that as God’s chosen ones they were therefore to “put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12).
It’s easy to forget why we go through challenges and hardships, but if we remember how much they strengthen and teach us, we can endure them with courage and a Christ-like attitude. But it all starts with our thoughts.
Every time we step on the court or field to compete for Christ, we have to think about what we’re thinking about. In his book “The Good and Beautiful God,” James Bryan Smith says, “Our thoughts about God will determine not only who we are but how we live.” We can start by actively thinking about Jesus Christ as our “all” and remembering that we are made alive with Him. When we think on these truths and believe it in our hearts, we can we can glorify Him and reveal Him to others making a dramatic difference in the lives of coaches and athletes.
- What do you think about most during practice and competition? Do you ever forget why you are out there during challenging moments?
- Describe what you think the ideal thought life of a Christ follower would entail? How can you move toward that as a goal?
- In what ways can you remind yourself and your team why you’re out there practicing and competing?