Success in Sports or the Spirit


Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31


Playing sports in school can be enjoyable and very stressful at the same time. I remember the feeling that I was pretty good at my sport when I was playing during my junior and senior year of high school and that I had a good chance at playing in college. I felt that I was a success in my sport. However, once I got to college I quickly found myself struggling to stay on the team and some would say that I was not successful in my sport. I learned something in those years, success within sports, whether as a player or a coach, is relative. You may set goals for yourself in a game to score and record a shutout. You may set goals within the season to have a winning record. Does meeting those goals make you a success? In God’s eyes…no. Those types of goals and that type of success within your sport is all relative based on who you are playing and how gifted your team is within a given season.

Success in God’s eyes, success in the Spirit comes down to one simple thing…obedience. If we look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, we can see that God uses us to bring about His glory and if God was focused on a “winning record”, He wouldn’t have had Jesus die on the cross for our sins, because as the world saw that as a loss, God saw that as true success because Jesus was being obedient to the will of God the Father and rescuing us from our death and eternal loss.

Your success in God’s eyes is not based on how many goals, touchdowns, or runs your score. It is not based on if you are in the starting lineup of varsity, or if you barely made the cut for JV. It is not based on your team’s record, or how many players get a college scholarship. Your success in the Spirit is based on being obedient to the Lord and the Lord is commanding you to love with all your might, and work hard for His glory, not your own. Start putting God’s goals at the center of your athletic career, and let your earthly success sit this next season on the sidelines, then you will have true success in the Spirit. 

  1. What goals do you place on yourself that would make you feel successful in a single game or match?
  2. What goals do you place on yourself that would make you feel successful in a season?
  3. What does God have for you that makes you a success in His eyes during a game, or a season?

2 John 1:6; Romans 2:6-8; 1 Peter 1:14

Bible Reference: 
2 John 1:6
Romans 2:6-8
1 Peter 1:14