Playing with a Christ-Like Mind Set
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
As a player, coach, and competitor, I believe in the importance of winning. As Christ-followers, winning shouldn’t hold us back from being competitive or having high standards for ourselves and our team. If we choose to play for Him, it should make us play even harder—giving everything we have 100%. But, like most things, there is a fine line in having a competitive attitude to win. As competitors in Christ, it’s important to ask yourself if other people can see Christ through you while playing your game.
In high school and in my early coaching days, I was a very intense competitor, where I had to be the best of the best; no one outworked me or my team. Of course, I would respect officials, but I failed to show any mercy to my opponent. If I scored a point on someone, I would let them know about it, and I wouldn’t offer any encouragement to the other players. I would carry this chip on my shoulder that I was better than them. As I grew closer to God, my standards as a Christian and as an ethical competitor weren’t as good as I thought. After some reflection, I was encouraged to take Jesus with me on and off the court and field, having my mind and attitude be Christ-like. This changed everything for me. I now try to play with humility, and I respect my opponents during competition whether I’m winning or losing.
We need to be able to win and lose with Jesus as our guide in how we should compete and act. Instead of doing anything and everything to get the win for yourself, do it for Christ. Compete and coach to encourage one another. Treat your opponents with humility, grace, and kindness. Next time someone scores a point on you or your team, congratulate that player.
While God wants us to win, He is more concerned with our hearts and our motivations behind wanting to win. In the end, our material accomplishments we receive on Earth don’t matter to God but our relationship with Him does! Always remember to glorify Him whether you win or lose!
- How can you honor God in your life now? How can you encourage your teammates to do the same?
- What character flaw as a player or coach do you need to work on?
1 Peter 5:8-9; Romans 12:21
“Heavenly Father, I’m so grateful for my ability to play and coach the game that I love. Lord, show me where I can do better and how I can honor You when I play and coach. Use me to show others You. I love You and ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.”