By Dan Britton
"I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." -Philippians 3:8
As the Competitor’s Creed states, your desire as an athlete is to “compete for the pleasure of [your] Heavenly Father, the honor of Christ and the reputation of the Holy Spirit.” That is truly competing with a spiritual focus, not a physical focus.
On July 25, 2003, Andrii Serdinov, a Ukrainian swimmer, experienced five brief minutes of glory when he achieved his lifelong goal of setting a world record in the 100-meter butterfly. He was pumped—celebrating and throwing his hands in the air! His joy, however, was short-lived, and his time in the spotlight disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived. Five minutes later, 18-year-old U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps broke Serdinov’s world record. It happened so fast that Serdinov could not even finish one interview about his incredible accomplishment.
Fame is like the wealth described in Proverbs 23:5: “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle” (NIV). Often, as soon as fame is achieved, it is gone. The glory that is of this world will never last. As athletes, we strive to be the best, but we cannot hold on to our accomplishments. We must offer them to the Lord to be used for His glory.
The glory that the world offers is rubbish. It will all be destroyed. The only thing that will last is God’s kingdom. Too many athletes would rather have five minutes of worldly fame than any amount of eternal glory. As an athlete, seek first the kingdom of God, and if He blesses you with five minutes of glory, make sure that you offer it back to Him. Don’t keep it for yourself. You have been created in the likeness of God Almighty so that you might bring Him glory!
1. What are some of the awards you have received?
2. Have you ever given God the credit for a victory in your sport or season?
3. Why is it so hard to focus on the eternal things and so easy to focus on the things that are temporary (season, records, stats)?
John 12:25; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Lord, please forgive me for getting awards and records for my own gain. I do not want to be a selfish athlete. I want to be a surrendered athlete. I pray that I will compete to bring You glory. Amen.