Paternity Over Performance


And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” – Galatians 4:6


Some say former Boston Celtic Bill Russell is the greatest basketball player in history. An unselfish player, he was a 12-time all-star and five-time MVP who amassed 13 seasons overall and 50 rebounds in a single game. And this was after he led the University of San Francisco to back-to-back NCAA championships and the USA to an Olympic gold medal!

During his career, Russell was approached by an older woman in an airport who asked the 6'9" Russell, “Are you a basketball player?” His answer was absolutely incredible and profound. Russell replied, “No. Basketball is what I do, not who I am.” Wow! Russell got it. He refused to accept the all too common, albeit subtle, trap of a performance-based identity, where one equates who they are with what they do.  Doing so leads to a never-ending roller coaster of exalting oneself at the top and thinking oneself a failure at the bottom.

Your value is not tied to your performance, but comes from God. He created you and loves you. Losing or winning does not affect His love. Jesus challenged His disciples to focus on who and whose they were versus what they did. “But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” (Luke 10:20) Paternity (God is my Father) over Performance!

  1.  When describing who you are, do you share only what you do?
  2. Do you feel your value rises and drops based on how well you perform?
  3. Is your identity in your sport or in Christ?

2 Corinthians 6:18

Titus 3:5

Romans 12:2


Romans 8:14-17

Father, remind me my value is not in my performance but in who and whose I am. Amen.

Bible Reference: 
2 Corinthians 6:18
Titus 3:5
Romans 12:2