"Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God" - 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
In Game 3 of the 2018 NBA Finals, The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant dramatically silenced the full capacity Cleveland Cavalier home crowd with one shot. With his team up 3 points, 49.8 seconds remaining in the game and 5 seconds on the shot clock, he confidently hit his signature shot – even though every defender on the court, and every warm body in the crowd knew the shot was coming.
This one shot was reminiscent of a similar one he made in game 3 of the 2017 finals, with similar results. This year’s clutch moment was part his record-breaking performance that night which guided the Warriors to a commanding 3-0 lead over the Cavaliers in this best-of-seven series. When asked about Durant’s play and shot, teammate Stephen Curry commented, “Supreme self-confidence. He works hard at his craft. He's ready for those moments. When you have that belief in yourself, the moment is never too big for you. He would live with the result knowing how much work he's put into it. That's what superstars do.”
Every coach desires the “champion” personality on their team; the player who diligently prepares when nobody is around, disciplining their body to respond appropriately when the moment counts and honing his or her skills so that the motions become automatic. Such preparation breeds, as Curry commented, “Supreme confidence.”
The Apostle Paul used the analogy of athletic discipline in 1 Corinthians 9:27 when he stated, “I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” Paul is the perfect example of a Christian with a confidence similar to Durant’s. However, his confidence was in someone much greater. When he wrote the book of 2nd Corinthians, he defended his ministry and reasserted his authority as an apostle of Christ. In Chapter 3, we find our verse for the day. Paul asserts his full confidence, but does not boast in himself or in his own abilities. Instead, he proclaims that he is adequate, or competent because of the Lord. His confidence was so complete, it sustained him throughout his ministry despite many trials, beatings, stoning, and imprisonment. It was because of his confidence in the Lord that he could proclaim from the Roman jails, “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am...I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4: 11; 13).
This same confidence is available to each of us in our daily walk. We find it as we find our sufficiency in Christ, and learn the meaning of true contentment in the Lord.
- As an athlete, have you envisioned making the game-winning shot or stop?
- How have you prepared yourself for that moment?
- What steps are you taking in your personal life do build confidence in the Lord?
- Recall to memory your history with the Lord. How has God provided you experiences in your past to nurture your faith and confidence in Him?
Philippians 4: 4-13; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27