Show Some Love
“By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” –John 13:35
Some of the greatest rewards in sports are the relationships we form through years of competition. Bonds form among teammates, competition partners and between athletes and coaches. The opportunities exist in individual and team sports and can even happen between opponents. My athletic journey benefited significantly from one such relationship when an older competitor from a rival high school took the time to teach me how to triple jump correctly. It was a brief gesture of kindness in the form of one selfless conversation that made all the difference in my athletic career.
Athletes get to develop strong virtues such as good sportsmanship, being a good teammate and being coachable. These same qualities are valuable in our Christian journey. Jesus makes it clear in John 13:35 that how we treat one another signifies that we follow Him. Sometimes it’s unclear how to show love for those around us, especially in conflict. I’ll give you one easy tip. The next time you need to express love to a schoolmate, parent, teacher, or even an opponent, apply 1 Corinthians 13:4–8. Try being patient with them, offering a kind gesture, or even celebrating with or for them. Don’t throw their wrongs in their faces, be envious or be boastful. Smile, knowing that you are already filled to overflowing with the love of God and that you have more than enough to share without losing a drop for yourself. Think about what it means to be a good competitor and teammate with strong character. Then, apply that same heart to those around you, even beyond the arena of sports.
- Describe the most memorable act of kindness (e.g., love) you’ve experienced while participating in sports. How did that make you feel?
- What are ways that you show love to your teammates and coaches? For whom could you do something similar outside of sports?
- What is a simple way that you can show love to someone you might be in conflict with?
John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Ephesians 3:17-19, Romans 5:5
Our Father, thank You for the love You have poured into my heart and the sacrificial way you express Your love to me. Teach me to love others in a way that pleases You. Enable me to love the people around me on Your behalf. Help me to always feel Your overflowing love for me. In Jesus’ name.