Rooted In Christ: Giving Your All
By Charles Gee
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
As a coach, I’ve always been interested in how to motivate athletes. How do you get them to willingly give 100% on every play? How do you get them to buy into the culture you’re trying to establish for the team? The legendary John Wooden said, “You have to give 100% every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75% today, you can’t give 125% tomorrow to make up for it.”
Steve Prefontaine, one of the greatest runners of all time, went straight to the heart when he said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” Well-known slogans encourage us to “Row the Boat,” “Keep Chopping,” and to be “All In.” Comedian Bill Murray helps us maintain a sense of humor in our quest for maximum effort by telling us, “Whatever you do, always give 100%, unless you’re donating blood!” Quotes and slogans are great to hang in the locker room and share in a pep talk, but what does it take to live them out?
Jesus put together a team known as the Apostles. When He put this team of twelve together, they weren’t very productive. They came from varied backgrounds and had very different gifts. They were often self-centered and selfish. For three years, these men watched and listened to their coach without fully understanding who He was or what He was trying to teach them. One accepted money to betray Him and another refused to even acknowledge he knew Him. How did a group like this turn into a team that not only gave 100% but was willing to die for their coach? First, they changed their focus from themselves to the message their coach was modeling – a love for all. Second, they had a fire in their soul. We could say their passion for sharing this message was unshakable. Third, they suited up for the challenge with all the equipment they needed – faith, prayer, and the Word of God. No cute slogans or inspirational pep talks, just a 100% Jesus centered mindset.
While we can look to famous quotes or popular slogans for inspiration to be our best, looking to Christ and being rooted in His Word daily gives us the right tools to be 100% for Him in our lives and in our sport.
- In your opinion, what athlete or coach best exemplifies the concept of giving 100%?
- What do you think Steve Prefontaine meant when he said, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift?”
- What do you think it looks like for someone to give Jesus 100%?
Colossians 3:23-24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Proverbs 13:4
"Heavenly Father, You have made me unique in every way. I have been designed by You to serve You as only I can. I accept the challenge to give You 100% of my efforts today and in each day You give me breath. Amen."