It’s All About Heart


But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.”–1 Samuel 16:7


It takes heart to play sports. Coaches fire up their teams by saying, “Go out there and play with all your heart!” While skills and talent are important, playing with heart separates the good from the great. When my daughter plays basketball and looks toward me, I pound my hand on my heart. It is my sign to encourage her to play with heart. Playing with heart is about drive, passion, and desire.

The Bible mentions the heart more than 540 times. The Lord told Samuel He looks at the heart, not the external stuff. As athletes, not only do we play with our hearts, but we should also have hearts that are sold out to Jesus. We may know what it means to give our all on the field, but do we know what it means to give our all to God?

This easy acronym reminds us how to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength:

  • Hungry Heart: Do you have a hungry heart that devours the Word of God and prays continually?
  • Expecting Heart: Do you expect great and mighty things from a great and mighty God?
  • Abundant Heart: Is your heart full of God’s love?
  • Real Heart: Are you the real deal?
  • Teachable Heart. Are you a know-it-all athlete or a teach-it-to-me athlete?

1. Are you an athlete who plays with heart?
2. Why is the heart so important when playing sports?
3. Looking at the heart acronym, which do you do the best? Which needs the most work?


1 Chronicles 4:10; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Proverbs 28:13-14; Colossians 2:6-7


Lord, I want to play and live with heart. Make my heart soft and sensitive to Your leading. Grant me a heart that is abundant with thankfulness, transparency, and teachability. Amen.