“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." -- Matthew 5:13-16
As your season reaches its finish line, there is often a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that will flood your heart and mind. Towards the end of some seasons, you might experience thrilling excitement as you push ahead to that championship game or that final race. Other seasons you may find yourself exhausted from daily practices, doing your best to keep your schedule organized while preparing for finals week. Whether your season feels like it’s moving at lightning speed, barely inching by or maybe somewhere in-between, it’s easy to be consumed by the rush towards the finish and forget the leadership role you have in your sport and teams.
As competitors, your sport is a platform--whether you’re a coach, captain of the team or find yourself warming the bench--you were created by the Creator to lead in strength. The platform you’ve been given through your sport is your influence; you have the power to empower other coaches and athletes for the glory of God. As Christians, God calls us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We were designed to add flavor wherever we go, to carry Christ onto our space of competition with us. Because you have the Holy Spirit in you, you represent Jesus to your team, to your coach, to your classmates and to your community.
Your words and your actions during a winning season or a losing season do not go unseen and inevitably influence those around you. You must decide if you will leverage your platform and focus on your leadership on your team, even beyond your season. Using your influence and being a light means putting God first in your life every single day; it means making prayer a priority; it means speaking life-giving words; and it means giving glory to God in victory and in defeat.
Do not allow the climate of your season or the race to the finish line to keep you from leading well and using this unique platform to empower others around you. Your season will come and go, but the way you choose to use your influence will be a game changer long after that last team dinner. You have the power of Christ inside of you--you have the power to lift up your team and change the culture around you by representing Jesus well. Keep going! Keep a strong influence.
- Have you been using your influence for God’s plan or for your plan?
- Have you found yourself distracted by your season and forgetting to lead well?
- What does it look like to live as the light of the world and salt of the earth?
Proverbs 27:17; Proverbs 9:9; 1 Timothy 4:12
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the strength you have given me to be a leader on and off my team. Forgive me for becoming distracted and forgetting the platform You have given me. I desire to be a strong influence. Help me to empower those around me and bring all the glory to You. I love You, Lord, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”