“While He was reclining at the table in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came as guests to eat with Jesus and His disciples.” - Matthew 9:10


One of my favorite aspects of the game of basketball is the pivot. Although it is a simple concept, it allows for a big impact on the offensive end. One foot must stay grounded, and the other can be extended a bit out in front or to the side and move around to create good passes, space, effective jabs and fakes, and give you an ability to slow down and see what’s open. Without pivoting, it’s difficult to make much happen.

As Christ-followers on our teams, in our schools/jobs and in our families, we have consistent relationships with people who don’t know Jesus. When I was an athlete on my college basketball team, I put a lot of pressure on myself to bring each of these people to Christ. I often tried to force conversations or experiences that my teammates weren’t ready for either because they’d had negative religious experiences in the past or for other reasons.  In hindsight I now realize that these consistent relationships we have are valuable opportunities to simply live life with those who don’t know our Savior—to genuinely get to know them, have dinner with them, laugh with them and encourage them. I like to think of these relationships as “pivot relationships.” Your foot is planted there with them, and they’re within reach during that season of life.

We can gain much insight into how to approach pivot relationships from Matthew 9:10-13. After Matthew, a former tax collector, started following Jesus, the Lord ate dinner with Matthew and his friends, the “tax collectors and sinners.” Jesus and Matthew intentionally spent time with them and connected with them together. Can you imagine the love and light that those friends saw in that time?

We all have similar relationships that we can develop. We can simply live life with these people, show them the nature of Christ and pray that their hearts are open to hearing and receiving the truth. Instead of pressuring ourselves to “save” people, which is God’s business, what if we took the perspective of loving the people God has naturally placed in our lives? That could make more impact than anything. And if we did that in partnership with another Christ-follower and showed them love and the heart of Jesus, we would be even more effective.

As you encounter others today, remember the words of Jesus from John 13:35: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

  1. Who are three people in your life that you would consider pivot relationships?

  2. What are practical ways to love and build relationships with them?

  3. How would this demonstrate the love of Christ to them?

  • Matthew 9:10-13

  • John 13:31-34

  • 1 John 1:13-18

Bible Reference: 
1 John 1